Young curators bring people together to share tales of life in isolation

A group of young history-lovers are calling on people across the city to share their experiences and help tell the story of lockdown in Leeds.

Leeds City Museum’s Preservative Party wants to hear about the different ways residents have been coping with isolation as they look to create a new animated film documenting the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on local communities, individuals and families.

While looking at the subject in the context of the current restrictions, the group are also keen to raise awareness about the fact that many people can experience physical, emotional and social isolation as part of their daily lives.

Their finished film will be shared on social media and at the museum as part of a planned display looking at mental health, which is set to be installed once the attraction is able to reopen to the public.

Esther Amis-Hughes, Leeds Museums and Galleries’ youth engagement officer, said:

“The group began bringing the display together earlier this year, looking at a variety of prominent mental health issues and how they affected different people’s lives.

“After the coronavirus pandemic was declared, the members were still really committed to the project and by working together online, they decided that isolation would be an important and relevant theme to explore as well as an opportunity to bring people together.

“The current lockdown has made us all much more aware of how it feels to be cut off from our friends, family and social lives, but sadly, for many people being isolated and feeling alone isn’t a new experience.

“We’d really like to hear from people who have something they want to share about isolation, whether it’s in the context of the current pandemic or something they’ve felt as a result of unemployment, starting university, growing up in care, being a new parent, or relocating.”

The Preservative Party, all aged 14-24, works with Leeds Museums and Galleries to plan and create displays and exhibitions at Leeds City Museum.

Their previous projects have included displays on the armed forces and the First World War, a nostalgic look at life as a teenager in Leeds and a time capsule which was recently installed at Leeds Town Hall.

Anyone who wants to share their isolation story can do so either by name or anonymously by emailing by Wednesday 22 April 2020.


This post is based on a press release issued by Leeds City Council