'Isolation Museum' documents artifacts from a physically distanced life
The Isolation Museum is a project that was started by Kit Chokly, a graduate student at Carleton University in Ottawa, and initially began as part of a class project during the early days of the pandemic in March 2020. (Kit Chokly)
TORONTO -- As many Canadians continue to stay at home, a virtual museum aims to document artifacts that represent the isolation experienced during the pandemic.
The Isolation Museum is a project that was started by Kit Chokly, a graduate student at Carleton University in Ottawa, and initially began as part of a class project during the early days of the pandemic in March 2020. People can submit photos of objects that represent their experience being suck at home.
"When we first got into lockdown, the practice of thinking about the environment around me, being like my apartment and the things that were important to me… This was a useful practice for me, as we're starting to get used to lockdown, and I kind of wanted to share that experience," Chokly told CTVNews.ca over the phone on Wednesday.
The Isolation Museum has so far received over 300 submissions. A whole range of objects has been submitted, including stacks of books, postcards, rolls of toilet paper and tons of masks.
"There's some really innocent and sweet things that have been submitted, and there's some really heartbreaking things, (such as) a lot of window visits with people in long term care," said Chokly.
Several artists have also used the Isolation Museum to showcase artwork that they've created during the pandemic.
"There's been a lot of really cool things that have come out of the pandemic that artists are making and I'm happy that you know some of them have chosen to use the Isolation Museum as their platform or their gallery space," Chokly said.
Chokly had thought the project would only last until August 2020, thinking that the pandemic would be over by then. They're considering creating a "part two" of the museum as the pandemic continues to drag on.
"I think there's a certain level of naivety, I had going into this thinking that, 'you know, we'll just do this and then when people kind of lose interest in submitting stuff, we'll probably be out of the pandemic at that point.' And that hasn't been the case," Chokly said.