Beginning October 20th, I'll spend two months driving across America in search of stories, creating conversations, connecting with others, and documenting what life looks like during the pandemic.
I originally created "Behind the Mask - Our Stories" in May 2020 as a Facebook page, inviting family and friends and their families and friends to share photos and videos that provided glimpses into their lives, adjusting around Covid-19. Thanks to everyone who participated in this initial project for inspiring this next step!
Now, I am taking Behind the Mask on the road and expanding it, capturing stories of people, communities, places and landscapes through photographs, videos, and essays. My short term goals include creating communities of storytelling and documenting what I witness and experience and what others share with me, and my long-term goals include creating a coffee table book and traveling multimedia exhibit
that portrays how we now move through our lives, pivoting, shifting and adjusting our trajectories, with Covid-19 tugging at the fabric of our daily existence in endless ways.
I expect to hear stories of not only loss and tragedy, but also of unexpected opportunities, and gifts of beauty and joy. And so, it is my hope that this project will serve as both a chronicle of these days and a reminder that just as fear and uncertainty may spread throughout families and communities and a country, so may hope and a sense of unity be felt. While our experiences may differ greatly, we are all on this pandemic journey together, in one way or another.
As I meander the country, connecting with others, I will be self-contained in a rented camper van, confident in my ability to safely interact with people in very organic ways - at campgrounds, gas stations, rest stops, parks, on trails, in grocery stores - natural stopping points for a journey such as this.
If you would like to support Behind the Mask - Our Stories by making a financial donation to help offset expenses, that is wonderful! All donors will be recognized on the blog and Facebook page, as well as within the coffee table book and traveling exhibit. They will also receive postcards from the road and personal emails. Every dollar contributed is greatly appreciated. Here are some fun categories for your consideration:
$10 - Hygiene Helper (laundry and showers)
$25 - Snack Supporter (snacks, meals)
$50 - Fuel friend (gas, propane)
$100 - Camper companion (camper van rental)
$101+ - Project Partner (coffee table book, traveling exhibit)
Whether you make a donation or not, I hope you will follow my journey.
Behind the Mask Blog
Behind the Mask Facebook page
** Photo credit - Taz Tally
** Artwork credit - Gail Baker
- Pamela Breckenridge
- Monica Sallee
- Linda White-Canfield
- Tina Day