Quarantine Stories Contest

Quarantine Stories Contest

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The Center for Urban History, jointly with the Programs for culture studies, sociology, and the Master’s program in History of the Ukrainian Catholic University, announce the call for stories about life during the epidemic – "The Quarantined Experiences."


Ukraine has been under the quarantine for over a month. It is an unprecedented experience for most of us. We practice self-isolation, keep social distancing. Increasingly more of our daily activities are shifting online – work and study, communicating with friends and family, shopping and watching movies, attending shows or concerts. We celebrated Easter under the quarantine and watched the spring coming behind the window. It is a difficult time when we learn to survive and adapt to new circumstances, support each other, review family budgets, and vacation plans. These are new body practices – from continuous washing the hands and wearing facemasks to measuring temperatures at the entrance to supermarkets and avoiding handshakes and hugs. It is a new organization of the space, such as red tape lines at the entrance to pharmacies or the fenced playgrounds. It is about new recipes and new kinds of entertainment. It is also about new fears and doubts, new worries and new insecurities. To a certain extent, the quarantine slowed down the crazy rhythm of life. It opened to us the time for reflections (nice and not really); it is the moment for rethinking our own lives and daily routines. We are trying to test our revelations, share our thoughts, concerns, global issues, creative works, and inventions.


We are all telling stories – to ourselves, to family, to friends and strangers, at a family dinner, or in social media. Skillful storytellers can describe mundane and common things in a way to highlight new experiences and senses for all or to recognize the familiar and important feelings. Welcome to share your story and recall how the quarantine started for you; how your daily routines have changed; how the self-isolation requirements and new restrictions impacted your life. What questions about the world and our life have you faced due to the pandemic and the quarantine? What have you reviewed in your life? What have you decided to change and have changed? We suggest you arrange your thoughts around the following topics (that can be interpreted rather broadly, though):

  • Space: my city/village/house/apartment during the quarantine: what is important and what is irrelevant, accessible and inaccessible; what are new restrictions or possibilities I have got; how the perception of space has altered; what have distance and topography become?
  • Everyday routines: what do I do the same way, and what do I do differently; what inventions and techniques helped me overcome new challenges; what is most wanted, and what loss was easiest to come to terms with; how do I support others and feel the support from them; how did the family budget and the structure of costs and revenues change; what emotions accompany me every day?
  • Creativity: what fills my free time; who I spent the free time with (close nearby and at a distance, together and separately); how did the “migration into online” and isolation impact my perception of artworks and cultural events or my creative practices; what talents have I managed to discover in myself; how do I manage (or not) to “co-create remotely” and contribute to joint activities; what makes me happy?

In your story, you can focus on one of the topics or cover several of them. Besides, you can write about what you believe important or worth sharing.


The call accepts printed or written texts (expected length between 3 to 10 pages).

You can add visual materials to them – photos, collages, drawings, etc. – as we are open to various creative interpretations and experiments.

Please, add some information about you to your text. State how old you are, where you come from, where you live, what you do, whether you have any children – anything you deem necessary to reveal.

We will be open to receive your works before June 30, 2020.

The jury will select winners and award them with cash prizes:

  • first prize – UAH 5,000
  • two second prizes – UAH 4,000 each
  • three third prizes – UAH 3,000 each.

The competition results will be announced before August 30, 2020, on the pages of the Center for Urban History and the Partner organizations. No public justification of the jury decisions is provided.

Public Use

Organizers plan to publish a collection of selected texts after the competition.

By sending your text to the competition, you therefor agree for its public use, such as quoting, publication in the final collection (printed and/or online), being used in educational, exhibition, and research projects of the Center and the Partner organizations. If you wish to have your work or its pieces published anonymously, please, mention it in the letter.


Please, submit your works to the email - [email protected] in any convenient format – either as an attachment or via a file share service. Or, you can use a regular mail and send your letter to the Center’s physical address:

The Center for Urban History, 6 Bohomoltsia Street, Lviv, 79005

Please, remember to state your contacts for feedback.

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Сover Image: Oleksandr Orlov