From 9 March to 4 May 2020 the vast majority of Italians were forced to stay at home to cope with the health emergency caused by the spread of Covid-19. The lockdown forced couples to split up, families to find new rhythms, single people to remain isolated from friends and mere acquaintances to share intimate spaces. This condition of isolation formed the basis for “We Humans in Lockdown”, an artistic project created by the Italian semiologist Gianna Angelini. The project “We Humans in lockdown” was created with the aim of questioning the mood of Italians during phase 1, their habits and their way of visualising the future in this strange present. Their words then became portraits, creatively interpreted by three young graphic designers: Francesca Mastracci, Valerio Pini and Tea Scarsella. The 53 audio and video interviews collected involved people between the ages of 15 and 83. The questions were designed to investigate emotions related to the present and the future, changes in relationships with people inside and outside the home, expectations and anxieties related to work. The answers were catalogued according to 11 different parameters that then became the graphic elements with which to build the individual digital portraits. Their stories, all reported anonymously, can be found online at wehumans.it/lockdown. The portraits can also be visited on the Instagram page www.instagram.com/wehumans_it. The choice of anonymity is methodological and indicates the fact that each recorded story is both unique and universal and has value in itself regardless of the narrator’s personal data.
“We Humans in Lockdown” is part of a larger “We Humans” project that aims to give an account of what makes us truly human, building up gradually over time and involving people, things and cities inhabiting the present and preparing for the future.
“We Humans in Lockdown” is part of a larger “We Humans” project that aims to give an account of what makes us truly human, building up gradually over time and involving people, things and cities inhabiting the present and preparing for the future. In addition to the creator, Gianna Angelini, the following people took part: Dario Caregnato, Ux designer and frontend developer who oversaw the entire project; Giorgio Cipolletta, artist and performer; Clelia Maria Dri, translator and communication expert; Paola Costanza Papakristo, sociologist; Luigi Maria Perotti, director; Andrea Salvatore Sciuto, film student; Paola Toniolo, photographer; and Francesca Mastracci, Valerio Pini and Tea Scarsella, graphic designers.
When we are stripped of the ethnicity we happen to have been born with, the gender that nature bestowed on us, the age that time has given us, what is it that remains of us if not our story or, rather, the story we tell others of our history. The relationship with technology and the environment, trust in scientific research and the consequences of globalisation are all current issues but, in the private sphere, how have we reacted to closure and distancing? How has all this influenced the perception of ourselves and our vision of the future?
(cover 1) «WeHumansinlockdown, montaggio» (2) «Caspar», illustration by Valerio Pini, 2020 (3) «Scartox», illustration by Tea Scarsella, 2020 (3) «30», illustration by Francesca Mastracci, 2020