Project “Virus Diaries: Chronicles of Everyday Life”
Head: Anna Temkina, PhD, professor, co-director of “Gender Studies Program” at European University at Saint-Petersburg
Moderator: Daria Litvina, Research Fellow at Faculty of Sociology and Philosophy at European University at Saint-Petersburg
Consultants: Anastasia Novkunskaya, PhD, Research Fellow at European University at Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation; Irina Tartakovskaia, Candidate of Sociology, Senior Research Fellow at Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Science (Moscow), Russian Federation.
The project is aimed at creating a database of diaries, in which researchers with academic background in social sciences and humanities are fixing their everyday life and reflections on its changes. The project started in the middle of March 2020 and lasted up to 10th of June 2020. During this period 34 scholars from 10 countries participated in a project. Most of the participants are living in Russia (Saint-Petersburg, Moscow), others are from Australia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Germany, USA, France, Finland, Sweden. All of the participants are Russian-speaking researchers from such academic fields, as sociology (most of them), philosophy, philology, anthropology, political studies, history, oriental studies. There are 8 men and 26 women of different age groups and professional statuses, from PhD students to professors. Most of the participants are living in nuclear families without children (16), the rest live with children (5), in extended families (6), in individual households (6) or with friends (1).
The project didn’t set up a narrow focus and strict directions, therefore every diary is an individual project which reflects the author’s vision. The genre of the texts is both personal diaries and research tools. During the project all of the participants were in self-isolation (to a different extent) and working distantly from home.
A preliminary analysis shows that the diaries contain detailed descriptions of
- Global and everyday challenges caused by epidemic;
- Physical and symbolic changes of space and temporality;
- Regimes of isolation, distancing and safety;
- Changes of behavior and interactions of people in a city, in public places, in transport, in shops, in organizations;
- Multiple breakages and reorganizations of professional and everyday lives, changing borders between private and public spheres;
- Changes of interactions in medical organizations and with diseased people;
- Transformations of personal/ family/ intimate relationships;
- New forms of communication and solidarity;
- New forms of precarity and inequality;
- Transformations of emotional regimes Perceptions of media discourses and governmental control;
- Intensification of transnational interactions on personal and global level;
We assume that this project will result into the database of unique and reflexive evidences of pandemic daily routines. Besides, the project has potential to become the platform for communication and strengthening solidarity between researchers both in Russia and internationally.