March 2020, the Corona virus shuts the world down, including the arts and culture sector. All events, exhibitions and performances are canceled in the blink of an eye. What now? This was the starting point for a group of cultural economists and sociologists from the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (EUR) to join forces via the online platform Shit! Corona Chronicles. For a year and a half, colleagues, students and alumni used this platform to share blogs, opinion articles, interviews and research on the resilience of the arts and culture sector, both nationally and internationally. These articles are now bundled in the e-book The Corona Rollercoaster, working in Corona through the crisis.
The e-book The Corona Rollercoaster includes a.o. a study about the “we” feeling at the beginning of the lockdown. Femke Vandenberg analysed over 1500 comments on live streams of electronic music concerts. An interview by students in lockdown with the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam is part of the stories as well. This museum offered art lessons via WhatsApp during the lockdown. And the e-book contains a photo series created by alumna Jitske Nap. She photographed abandoned buildings in Amsterdam to show the effect of the pandemic on nightclubs and event venues.
In the coming years, there will be plenty written about how the Corona crisis has changed our way of living. The Corona Rollercoaster offers an overview of reactions, problems, challenges and ideas of an entrepreneurial arts and culture sector. Some will look back with relief, others with melancholy, yet others will look back with astonishment on the temporary adjustments and more sustainable innovations that this sector managed to develop during these extraordinary times.
Frans Brouwer, one of the initiators: “We have been able to harness arts, culture and our own creativity for this volume, supporting our own sense of wellbeing.”
Note for the editors:
The initiators of the online platform and the published e-book are Ellen Loots, Frans Brouwer, Pleun Meijer and Sue Robinson of the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication. The contributions have been written on a voluntary basis by bachelor and master students, alumni and colleagues.
View the e-book The Corona Rollercoaster.