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Keeping up the spirit during lockdown

Keeping up the spirit during lockdown

Fasos collects poems, photos and drawings by staff and students


I Zoom in

And I Zoom out

But can I really focus?

It all started last March on Twitter with these four lines of poetry by Paul Stephenson, assistant professor of Political Science and poet. Sally Wyatt, professor Digital Cultures and since September a member of the Faculty Board of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, replied the same evening with the first line of a limerick: “There once was a tutor on Zoom.” The next morning, John Parkinson, professor of Social and Political Philosophy, tapped the second line, "Who tried to teach Rousseau and Hume." And so it continued.

How do you keep morale high in times of a lockdown? At Fasos, the above ‘conversation’ in March 2020 was the starting shot for a competition in which staff and students were encouraged to write poems and share them with the faculty community.

The main language was English, although some submissions were first written in the writer’s native language - Greek, Polish or German - and sometimes provided with Dutch words such as ‘hamsteren’. They ended up in the weekly newsletter, Fasos Weekly, under the heading ‘Keeping up the spirit’. A while later, the competition was expanded with photos (including nature scenes, home offices, homemade bread, a basket with homemade face masks), drawings and other artwork.

All this has now - at the expense of the former Faculty Board - been bundled in a beautiful anthology entitled Quarantine Spring. The edition consists of a 150 copies, intended for interested parties. They are in demand; the faculty office says. There is just a small pile left.

And who won the competition? Everyone who participated is stated in the preface.




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