What would you put into a personal time capsule from 2020? A mask? Roll of toilet paper? Takeout menus?
That’s the question the Smithsonian is asking for a new project that examines a year that will go into the history books for so many reasons. But don’t worry–you can keep all your paper products in the pantry. The museum’s new time capsule is based on digital stories.
The National Museum of American History recently announced Stories of 2020, a wide-ranging and inclusive collection of personal and experiential records of our thoughts, accounts and feelings about a year like none other. The Smithsonian is calling it a “digital time capsule for future conversation and a place for conversation right now.”
2020 will be remembered not just for a pandemic that affected every corner of the globe and changed our daily lives, but as a time of economic crisis, police violence, protest and political turmoil. And now’s your chance to easily share your thoughts about how 2020 affected your life and have your voice be heard by your national museum, your fellow Americans and generations to come.
You can share your submission via this form on the museum’s website. To spark your creativity, the form lists some handy writing prompts like “How did the events of the year lead you to see your community differently?”; “What memory of quarantining with your family will most stay with you”; and “How did you experience protests in your town?” It even poses the question, “What object will always make you think of these times?” in case you feel the need to mention hand sanitizer or your love–or loathe–of Zoom. Contact information must be included, but submissions will only be posted with first name, last initial and location. You can include up to five photos and also select one or multiple categories for your story, like racial justice, food and drink, or business and work life.
Once you’ve submitted your own account, stick around and read some of the stories in the featured collections or any of the 15 themes.
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