“Physical Evidence of Pandemic”: New Book Reflects COVID-19 Experiences in Alberta


A new book shares poems, stories and artwork depicting the struggles many Albertans faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Called COVID collections, the work was unveiled as part of Edmonton’s LitFest, a two-week celebration of writing that is Canada’s first and only non-fiction festival.

It features over two dozen storytellers, writers, artists and poets from Alberta and includes a wide range of community voices including BIPOC, Disabled and LGBTQ2S + representation.

Annette Loiselle, one of the story collectors and artistic director of SkirtsAfire, told CTV News Edmonton how the book actually started as a film produced for the SkirtsAfire Festival in March.

“The curator of the film,” Loiselle explained, “came up with the idea of ​​making the film into a book.

“The idea was to create a document about this period of our life and to hear stories that are not necessarily ours”,

Autumn Sjølie, one of the main editors and designers, said the book reflects how different people have experienced the pandemic, especially those from marginalized communities who have been particularly affected.

“This is physical proof of the pandemic, of what happened,” Sjølie said. “This is real proof of the stories that so often go unheard.

“(The book) acts as a voice for a wide range of people.”

“We often only hear stories from our own families or our own circles. In order to create real empathy as a larger community, we need to hear the stories of others, ”Loiselle said,“ and know what people are going through. “

The book is available online or in person from TIX on the Square, Audrey’s Books and Glass Bookshop.

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