During the period of complete isolation the partners maintained a mutually supportive link and produced work that reflected the varied situations.
A major workshop (the UK LTTA) which was to function as a confirmatory meeting for all partner & their outline plans, had been called-off.
For a project in its early stages – and one in which partners had not met the Polish replacement partner – the suspension of work was very important.
As coordinator, Pathways, evolved the local management group into a Project Consultative Group (PCG) by including 2 members of the Oxford based associate partner (TEFG).
During March and April the PCG began considering the implications of the pandemic for the future of the project.
The practically based work intended for the UK meeting still needed to be performed – but when… and how? The PCG at its first meeting agreed that ‘best-case’ scenario was a 6 month delay – and at the first partnership Skype meeting on 25th March, the Italian partner raised the possibility of adding an extra year.
As the impact of the pandemic became more significant, partners began to understand the length of ‘disrupted time’ that they all faced.
The situations vary between countries & local partners have differing types of action occurring within the project framework. The project is based on practical outdoor action and even as the situations of extreme isolation began to be mitigated, the partnership realised that engaging in project work as originally intended would not be possible for most, & maybe all, of 2020.
The partners evolved a series of activities, including increased use of the WhatsApp group. The results of such regular connection led to the ‘reflections’ (https://greenbridgesproject.org/pandemic-times-reflections/)
The coordinating action taken by the PCG includes exploring the options for maintaining partnership work during an extended period of disruption. The PCG also engaged one member to produce a ‘creative record’ of the pandemic. Some of this work is now appearing…….
……..& involves developing ceramic images. The use of historic responses to previous pandemics and the general treatment of illness (still surviving in some partner regions) are featured in some of the work.
The creative work was accompanied with a series of discussions by the PCG regarding the need to ensure that the informal work being created was coherent with the project aims and purposes.
This was one of the major issues for the whole partnership to have covered during the UK LTTA. Consequently as series of diagrams prepared for the meeting were re-structured following the highly relevant environmental comments provided from Italy.
The details of this aspect of coordination is on other pages. They are centred around two ‘Touchstone’ statements that set the standard for any Green Bridges activity
In early May a separate product of ‘future gazing’ was a series of suggestions from Romania:
(we)… “will present today at the meeting our brainstorming ideas of what ‘activities’, materials or reflections we could produce during these months within Green Bridges project.”
ASIE’s proposals for activities
Bridging inside & outside worlds during pandemic times
- Testimonials during isolation/staying at home: family members, friends, colleagues, neighbours, acquaintances
- A collection of most important MEMEs in English, native language or no words at all, topic: COVID 19
- Mutual photovoice: What do I see from my window?
- Virtual journey: choose a trail from point A to point B, document it; it could be imaginary or an older journey
One partner has responded to the above suggestions & these ideas & others will be considered by the whole partnership as the project moves forward through the complexities created by Covid 19.