Women’s experiences of lockdown make up House of Commons exhibition

A virtual exhibition that highlights the experiences of women during the pandemic launches at the House of Commons this week.

Lockdown House is a collaborative project between University of Leicester, University of Lincoln and Robert Gordon University. The exhibit allows visitors to wander through digitised rooms and gardens, accessing the experiences of women whose lives were transformed through the pandemic.

Statistics show that women were disproportionately affected by the competing demand of work, childcare and home-schooling during the pandemic.

Women writers explore the gendered dimensions of lockdown considering a variety of issues faced by women, from home-schooling and working from home to relationships and domestic violence.

Their writing is displayed alongside images, film, and social media content, each telling their own story from a range of authors, bloggers, poets and journalists.

Following a tour of the virtual house, an introduction to the project will be made by Professor Lucie Armitt, University of Lincoln, and her co-investigators, Professor Sarah Pedersen, Robert Gordon University and Professor Krista Cowman, University of Leicester. The event will also include poetry produced by women at workshops run as part of the project by poet Liv Torc, also featured in the exhibition.

Lockdown House is part of a multi-disciplinary Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) initiative: ‘A (Socially Isolated) Room of One’s Own: Women’s Writing Lockdown’ which captures the thoughts and feelings of women and tells their story through various outputs.

Professor Krista Cowman, Head of School of History, Politics and International Relations, was a co-investigator on the project. She said: “Our project captures a very immediate history, that of the experience of the UK’s first lockdown in the Spring of 2020, through investigating the first-hand accounts women produced at the time.”

The event will be held in the Churchill Room on Wednesday, 28 June, and is hosted by Giles Watling MP, Chair of the All Party Writers Group at the House of Commons. Baroness Merron, member of the House of Lords, will also speak.

More information about the exhibit can be found here.