The world experienced the COVID-19 pandemic together, but that experience was not universal.
Individual experiences of the pandemic were very much shaped by the places where we live.
At the macro level, public health restrictions varied from city to city, region to region. The pandemic’s isolating effects were felt more profoundly in places that were already geographically isolated.
At the micro level, access to outdoor public infrastructure and opportunities for immersion in nature were significant predictors of mental health outcomes during shelter-in-place orders.
Canadian Geographic is inviting Canadians to share their unique experience of the pandemic as it was influenced by place.
We are seeking short written submissions, still images and/or video clips that reflect the breadth of Canadians’ pandemic experiences, from empty streetscapes to outdoor escapes, individual coping strategies to community outreach.
Select the pins on the map to explore stories from across Canada.
The following resources have been designed for educators with students in Grades 7-12 who are interested in learning about visual storytelling, photography and videography.
Students will explore examples and case studies from Canadian Geographic and other media organizations before learning how to craft their own narratives in the form of a photo essay or video vignette.
Connections to the Canadian Geography Learning Framework
Concepts of geographic thinking
Students will be introduced to photography and videography. They will consider how they learn about the world and what captures their interest and attention online. Through a series of activities, students will explore the power of visual storytelling, in particular photojournalism and documentary photography.
Students will learn basic photography and videography skills, specifically focusing on composition and planning. They will practice composition techniques through a series of activities. Students will also explore examples of photography and videography to better understand visual storytelling.
Students will read a selection of stories from Canadian Geographic about the COVID-19 pandemic and analyze them in group discussions. They will put into practice skills related to creating a shot list or storyboarding by brainstorming ways to tell these stories visually.
Students will create their own project for visual storytelling, either as a photo essay or a video vignette. They will focus on their experience of the COVID-19 pandemic or choose a perspective/narrative on the pandemic that they want to explore further.
Students will share their work with the rest of the class and discuss their creative process. They will discuss their thought process and what they learned from the experience. To conclude, students will consider how digital literacy and integrity is important for engaging with online content.
Placing the Pandemic in Perspective is a living archive of the experiences, reflections and achievements of Canadians in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Anchored by an interactive map of community submissions, Placing the Pandemic in Perspective reflects our national pandemic experience, celebrates our resilience, and helps us chart a path forward. Through this initiative, Canadians are invited to discover and share what we have learned from a wide array of unique and diverse perspectives. Other elements of the project, including a series of short films, resources for educators, and locations and dates for an interactive, in-person exhibit, will be added to this site over the coming months. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Government of Canada in bringing this project to life.
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