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Creativity and Resilience in Times of Covid-19


Banner image: @Skindian_art, @HeckIronCloud, @Munkibutts, @HomeGrowNMTradingPost, “Healthcare Heroes” 2021.

Date: 10 November 2021 at 10:30 - 18:00

About the event

More than a year of anxiety brought about by the lockdowns, curfews, and other restrictions has made everyday life resembling a dystopian novel all around the world. In the times of Covid-19, we have also witnessed alarming developments: questionable assertions of states’ authority, an increase in domestic violence and the rising vulnerability of the lowest paid workers. Our shared vulnerability revealed our commonality underscoring our humanity. 

This one-day event, with seminars, documentary viewing and art exhibition, aims to address the role of creativity as a tool for resilience in the midst of a global pandemic –when all the art institutions were closed—by investigating the renewed role of the visual arts and music in re-imagining what it is to be a caring and sharing community.  


10:30-10:35: Welcome and Introduction by Tijen Tunali, AIAS Fellow

10:35-11:20: Documentary: "Electronic Art and Covid-19” by Scott Rettberg, Ashleigh Steele, Anna Nacher and Søren Pold

11:20-12:20: Talk: "A Pandemic Crisis Seen from the Screen: Digital Art and Electronic Literature as Reflection on Pandemic Platform Culture" by Søren Pold, School of Communication and Culture, Information Science, Aarhus University 

12:20-13:30: LUNCH BREAK

13:30-14:30: Talk: “Building Psychological Resilience Through Creative Engagement With Coronamusic” by Niels Chr. Hansen, AIAS Fellow & Center for Music in the Brain, Aarhus University

14:30-15:00: COFFEE BREAK

15:00-16:00: “Death, Ugliness and Melancolia: The History of European Art and Pandemics from 6th C Justinian Plague to Covid-19 ” by Tijen Tunali, AIAS Fellow & School of Communication and Culture, Art history, Aarhus University

16:00-18:00: Exhibition and Reception with refreshments

About the exhibition

In the context of a societal crisis, art and musical creativity have the potential to transform urban space and the digital sphere, to foster a sustained political dialogue, and to reach a wide and diverse audience—particularly when museums, galleries, cultural festivals and concert venues are shuttered. For all of these reasons, it is not surprising to see an explosion of new forms of creativity in public spaces and online. This exhibition displays digital arts, e-literature, street art, graffiti, and corona-themed music videos around the world to reveal immediate and sometimes fleeting responses to the Covid-19 crisis. It shows that we are connected in our ways to strengthen social bonds and build solidarity during a pandemic that has physically separated each other, but also points out that the conditions are very different between rich and poorer countries, between countries on the same continent or even neighborhoods in the same city.

Specifically, the exhibition addresses these questions: How does creativity play a role in establishing new social norms in keeping with public health concerns? In what ways can public arts, electronic arts and music be tools for physical and mental resilience? What is the role of urban and digital creativity in memorializing loss, processing grief, and expressing our shared humanity? And crucially, how can arts provide a critical view of the structural inequities and human rights issues that are exacerbated in a time of crisis?

Participation and registration

The event is open to all and free of charge, but prior registration is preferable. To attend the event including catering during the lunch break, registration is required and a small fee of DKK 70,- applies.


Deadline for registration is Friday 5 November 2021.


The event is organised by  Tijen Tunali, AIAS Fellow & School of Communication and Culture, Art history, Aarhus University and supported by AIAS.