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Ithra's Virtual Exhibition Explores Life in A Pandemic

The show gathers crowdsourced submissions from the region and beyond.

100 Corona Portraits by Rana Raafat Korany Mohamed

In March last year, the world was struck by a pandemic that forced the entire world into a lockdown, including places of culture, entertainment, educational facilities, restaurants, small businesses and more. However, museums and art galleries found an innovative way for people from all over the world to be able to visit, whilst they had to close their physical doors in light of COVID 19, by putting their artworks and artifacts onto digital platforms.

This year, Saudi Arabia’s Ithra, otherwise known as The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, launched a virtual exhibition entitled “COVID-19 Exhibit” that reflected on the past year, with the contributors conveying their personal experiences of the pandemic. This particular Ithra exhibition is set to run for 2 years and will be hosting a collection of items that belong to people from all over the world that have some kind of a link to the new normal that the world has had to experience together.

Ithra curator and head of Ithra museum, Farah Abushullaih, said in a statement about the digital exhibition, “Art is about connecting people through culture, but we connect maybe even more easily through common objects.”

The curated personal items include everyday objects that helped many people cope with the pandemic and the drastic changes that it bought, such as notes, books, photos, instruments and more.

Message from the Home Quarantine by Abeer Al-Sheban

Some of the items on display include a Playstation controller, surgical face masks, travel tickets dated from just before Saudi Arabia implemented travel restrictions, knitting needles, and grains that people had taught themselves to grow from home, amongst a plethora of other interesting, yet relatable items.

There are 270 objects available to view in the virtual exhibition, that were curated from hundreds of submissions from all over the world including Bahrain, UAE, Germany, UK, Saudi Arabia and many more.

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