Just over six months ago, we lived in a very different Aotearoa. Six months later, what would we remember from then? On May 28 2020, we reopened our doors to the public after three months of closure due to Covid-19 lockdown.
To acknowledge the time we’d spent apart, and to welcome our manuhiri (visitors) back into the building, we wanted to give them the opportunity to capture a small, personal moment in history, a snapshot in time as we collectively adjusted to our ‘new normal’.
Postcards to the Future invited our visitors to reflect on their experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a simple prompt:
Write a postcard to yourself, a friend or a member of your whānau (family). Tell them about your life now. What are you taking away from your experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic?
The postcards were collected and stored for six months. The week before Christmas 2020, we sent them across the country.
During the first few weeks after re-opening, there was a slow trickle of postcards as our manuhiri cautiously re-entered the building.
By the time the school holidays began, the letterbox quickly began to fill up; tamariki (children) and their pakeke (adults) were filling the museum once again.
There were words written between friends and loved ones, thanking each other for their company over lockdown, reflections on working and living during the lockdown, and commitments to new goals.
There were also expressions of sadness and anxiety; worry for friends and whānau overseas; fear of a resurgence of Covid-19 in the community.
There was both uncertainty and anticipation for the future, a shared sentiment of extraordinary change.
Postcards to the Future gathered 5000 postcards from the people of Aotearoa, reflecting on the impact of Covid-19 across our communities, our workplaces, our whānau and our personal lives.
They are a snapshot of an uncertain point in time, and they reflect the very personal impacts of Covid 19 on the people of Aotearoa.
These postcards will now be winding their way to addresses across the motu (country).
If you receive a postcard in the mail, let us know!