The global pandemic, subsequent lockdowns, and the slowly unfolding financial crash represent a watershed for society here in Scotland and around the world. 2020 will surely be seen as a turning point, a time in which our reality and our futures were suddenly and unexpectedly altered. There is no one who has not been impacted by the new rules and regulations, and indeed by the virus itself, the contours of our cities, our lives and our workplaces have changed. But who gets to tell the story of these changes will surely determine how they are seen, and what comes next.
That’s why we want you, the workers of Scotland, to tell us about your experiences. Whether the year has seen you caring for small children, or elderly relatives; working on the rigs, or furloughed at home; precariously employed, or out on strike, we believe that it is vital that the voices of Scotland’s workers are heard now and in the future. We want to record the reality of life in the pandemic, and to reflect on how it has affected us all. So paint us a picture, write us a story, record us a video. All too often history is a record of the rich and the powerful. We’re making a record of how life was this year for real people.
As Christmas approaches many of us will be looking back at what we have done and what we have not been able to do in 2020. So if you can, set aside some time and write a story for us. If it helps, take a look back at the work we’ve shared over the year, from teachers, delivery drivers, mothers, nurses, factory workers, artists, and all kinds of people in between; and then add your thoughts and feelings to theirs. There’s no right or wrong way to tell the story, nor is there any kind of labour we don’t want to hear about whether it’s care work, factory work, shop work, sex work, signing on, raising a family (or more likely some combination) — you know how your 2020 has been, and we want to hear about it.
Tell us about a day in your life
Write about what brought you joy this year
Write about what made you angry
Tell us about moments of solidarity you saw in 2020
Write about how your life was changed by Covid-19
The Workers Stories Project has spent the year building an online archive which will help record for posterity the day-to-day lives of ordinary people as Scotland battles coronavirus. As well as being available online, the stories will form an archive in the National Library of Scotland for future researchers to look at when they tell the story of the pandemic in Scotland.
Send us your stories and help us capture an image of Scotland and make sure that the voices of the workers who have experienced the pandemic are heard now and in the future.