The Lockdown Chronicles 27: Ludwig

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Ludwig is stressed.
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On the advice of his doctor, Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) moved to Heiligenstadt from April to October 1802 in an attempt to come to terms with his hearing loss. There he wrote the Heiligenstadt Testament (1802), a letter to his brothers which records his thoughts on his growing deafness and his resolution to continue living for and through his art (Cooper 1996: 169-172) [Wikipedia entry].

Text sources in addition to those in the footnote captions: Beethoven’s Heiligenstadt Testament (6 October 1802), via Gilbert, J.V. (1998) “E85.2073: Music Literature: The Classical Period”, NYU; Cooper, B., ed. (1996) The Beethoven Companion. Thames and Hudson; Saba, S. (22 April 2020) “How home working leaves deaf people out of the loop during coronavirus”, the Guardian.

Source image: “Beethoven’s walk in nature”, by Julius Schmid, original at Beethoven-Haus, Bonn, file used via Wikimedia Commons; Public Domain where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 70 years or fewer. This comic strip CC-BY-NC-SA.

References

Austria Official Travel Portal, “Up-to-date information on the Coronavirus situation “, available at https://www.austria.info/en/service-and-facts/coronavirus-information/  [Accessed 14 May 2020]

Action on Hearing Loss (Last updated 12 May 2020) “Managing tinnitus and stress during the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak”, available at  https://beta.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/coronavirus-response/managing-tinnitus-and-stress-during-the-covid-19-coronavirus-outbreak/  [Accessed 14 May 2020]

Beethoven’s Heiligenstadt Testament (6 October 1802), via Gilbert, J.V. (1998) “E85.2073: Music Literature: The Classical Period”, NYU; available at https://www.nyu.edu/classes/gilbert/classic/heiligenstadt.html  [Accessed 14 May 2020]

Cooper, B., ed. (1996) The Beethoven Companion. Thames and Hudson.

Saba, S. (22 April 2020) “How home working leaves deaf people out of the loop during coronavirus”, the Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/apr/22/how-home-working-leaves-deaf-people-out-loop-coronavirus Available at [Accessed 14 May 2020]

“Beethoven’s walk in nature”, by Julius Schmid, original at Beethoven-Haus, Bonn, file used via Wikimedia Commons at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Beethoven_walk.jpg [Accessed 14 May 2020]

 

The Lockdown Chronicles is a series of periodical comic strips made at night (in candlelight!) adapting and reusing openly-licensed or public domain items from online digital collections. Publication and tweetage are scheduled in advance. Historical sources are adapted and updated for the current pandemic; please refer to each strip’s references on each post for further context.  Catch up with the series at https://epriego.blog/tag/the-lockdown-chronicles/.

Physical Distancing: Everyone is Different; Let’s Be Kind

Poster on phsical distancing and visual impairment for a WHO call for submissions on physical distancing.
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Poster on phsical distancing and visual impairment for a WHO call for submissions on physical distancing.
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This image was co-designed with Francisco de la Mora. We produced it in response to this call by the World Health Organisation to “use any creative medium” to produce work that captures one of their coronavirus key messages:

  • Personal Hygiene
  • Physical Distancing
  • Know the symptoms
  • Kindness contagion
  • Myth-busting
  • Do more, donate

We decided to address the “Kindness contagion” key message whilst referring to physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe the message can also be applied for more general situations. The audience are people without visual impairment.

The image is an output from ongoing user-centred research with visually-impaired participants, and reflects the actual experience of a visually-impaired person going shopping under COVID-19 social distancing measures.

We consulted experts on accessibility and followed accessible design guidelines (colour, contrast, layout). So far most of the social distancing measures have been communicated through mostly ableist means that exclude the visually impaired (like the sign on the window in the poster; see for example this post by the Royal National Institute of Blind People).

Our main message is that physical/social distancing is harder or more complex for the visually impaired- there is a need for kindness when observing physical distancing measures because everyone is different.

The lettering is hand-drawn but we could draw the same message (or adaptations of it) in different languages. With many thanks to the colleagues and participants we consulted with and who provided us with feedback during the different iterations in the production of this image.

As required by the WHO call, our submission was uploaded here as a PSD file (layered; large version) and here as a JPG file (to fit Instagram etc).

If you like it or think the message is important, please share this post with the hashtags #UNCovid19Brief  and #ViralKindness or #KindnessContagion. Thanks in advance.

 

[NB. This post does not replace nor preempts other outputs about or from our ongoing work on visual impairment during the pandemic].