Looking at the children running around with their masks on these days, I feel the weight of the joke people say about BC standing for Before COVID-19 and AC being After COVID-19. If I could turn back the time, I feel like I could go around every corner on earth with just my backpack. And so the feeling of missing out grows stronger as our chance of traveling becomes unlikely by the day. I think to myself, will those days of scoring a plane ticket cheaper than bus tickets or fearlessly traveling around the world without any limits or border come back? Luckily, we do not have ability to turn back the time, so I decided to focus my energy on what I can do now.
<In It Together>, the theme for this issue was initially planned with telling the stories of Post-COVID world in mind, but we also tried collecting and recording the stories of today we should highlight for our tomorrow as we face such unprecedented time. From sharing small attainable goals of practicing zero waste action in our daily life to spreading awareness about protecting wildlife in Uganda across the globe, we agonized about the coexistence in protecting this planet earth we all live in. We wanted to approach the fundamental reasons of climate change and not just understanding climate change and impact of the pandemic as some irrelevant big worldly phenomenon.
The aftermath of involuntary isolation caused by COVID-19 made us realize the importance of weakly tied solidarity which was often looked over but was essential for us living in this era of social distancing. Through POPOPO we want to suggest a necessary reference that enables the solidarity in this time we’re alone together as citizens of the globe. While experiencing isolation and severance, the world became full of people who miss nonverbal communications of eye contacts and all those face-to-face interactions. With instruments and saucepans in their hands or through applause and thunderous cheers, the people around the city sent message to uplift each other and affirm the sense of community that they’re in this together. We tried suggesting new ways of forming solidarity and sharing each other’s stories in this time of social distancing as we discover how to put positive spin to such daunting and unexpected experience of disconnection.
In the digital era where everything becomes online, I witnessed the sentiment for analogue expanding. A paper book can awaken your every sense as you turn the page by hands and smell the time its endured and captured with all the stories on the pages. POPOPO will continue to record ‘today’ by collecting stories of someone’s potential, yet to be discovered.