The Locals : Diaries

Some day in the future, we’ll look back and ask, ‘What did you do during the COVID-19 pandemic?’ The London Borough of Sutton is running a project called ‘The Locals : Diaries’ which aims to journal and chronicle the experiences of citizens living across the borough. This is a project we at Arts Network Sutton are keen to support, particularly if you choose to participate creatively. If you’re making art, drawings, videos, creative diaries, the choice is up to you – and we’d like to hear from you.

Sutton Cultural Services invites local people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to consider documenting their experiences, thoughts and feelings during this strange time. The contributions will be added to Sutton’s borough Archive collection as an important and hugely valuable record of events.

You might choose to cover topics such as home-schooling, isolation, shopping, being creative, exploring new interests, or the way this has focused your thoughts in unexpected ways. There is no restriction as to the format of your diary, and entries can be as short or as long as you like. You can document a single event, a day, a week, or keep an ongoing diary. Your diary can include photographs, drawings, poetry – it can be handwritten or digital. You can record your thoughts and submit them as audio recordings. You can also submit a group or family journal.

Arts Network Sutton is encouraging creative input – and in support of this we will be releasing a series of short creative Home Studio videos in partnership with the council. These will contain accessible creative exercises designed to be easily completed at home. We hope they will help stimulate ideas and ways for people to participate. We supported the production of six videos in total:

  • Episode 1: Blind Drawing
  • Episode 2: Lettering
  • Episode 3: Haiku
  • Episode 4: Collage
  • Episode 5: Comic Strips
  • Episode 6: Brushless Art

You can watch all six videos here.

Any way you choose to record events and thoughts is valid and of great importance, and your submission can be anonymised if you wish. The council will make arrangements to redact any personal information from records that are collected and are happy to discuss any concerns there might be over the sharing of specific journal entries.

If you wish to take part, you can contact [email protected] for more information, and should you decide to share your work online please use the hashtag #TheLocalsDiaries. If you are a current member or friend of Arts Network Sutton – please get in touch with us directly and we can help you participate in this unique project.