MIDLAND, Texas — The spread of COVID-19 in the United States has confined us to our homes. The days when we had the ability to hold celebrations and see loved ones seem like decades ago.
We’ve rushed to grocery store aisles only to find them empty, no toilet paper, cleaning supplies, or pantry staples to be found.
While most are waiting for 2020 to end and brighter days to return, the Museum of the Southwest is doing what it can to make sure future generations remember these moments.
“Our mission is to promote and record arts, culture and history of the American southwest," Daniel Eck, executive director for the Museum of the Southwest said. "We thought it made sense for us to try to document what we’re going through.”
The museum’s pandemic documentation project is not just for entertainment purposes.
“This is history, this is something that our children and our grandchildren are going to want to know about," Eck said. "Believe it or not humans are going to forget, it’s hard to remember difficult times, but if we don’t remember difficult times...then we won’t learn from them.”
The museum wants people from all across the Basin to submit artwork, poems, essays, videos, and/or pictures that explain what they are going through right now. Then in a few years, the work will be displayed at the museum.
“We want to collect and keep things in an archive," Eck explained. "Maybe do an exhibit next year, or the year after that."
Whether it is a war, the Great Depression, the Civil Rights Movement, or COVID-19, documenting history successfully has a great deal to do with the empathy evoked in those looking back.
The creators of this project hope to do exactly that.
“It becomes real when you can see yourself in that situation and struggle," Eck said. "I mean that’s going to mean a lot to people for future generations, you know, because we’re gonna have more ups and downs after this.”
You can be sure that whatever those ups and downs may be, they will be captured at the Museum of the Southwest.
If you want to submit your work or learn more about the Pandemic Documentation Project, click here.