CoviDiaries: Hitting the Streets With Lincoln Cushing

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In order to make the creative world feel a bit less lonely and a bit more connected in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve been publishing a new blog series—CoviDiaries—that brings us into the homes and minds of various designers, illustrators and other professionals, to see how they’re coping. Here’s a dispatch from Lincoln Cushing in Berkeley, Calif.

I’m a media activist, and after California’s “shelter in place” guidelines came down March 19, I observed the rapid proliferation of neighbors wandering our Berkeley sidewalks. In an effort to blend political messaging, history and performance art, I began to staple anonymous flyers on telephone poles. I focused on two pandemic-related themes with a local angle: the 1918 Spanish Flu and a 1949 novel written by a local author.

The response has been very positive. Friends have sent me photos from their friends remarking on finding these, appreciating the stories and feeling amused (or shocked) at how history can repeat itself. I’m a believer in flyers and posters being the best medium for local, door-to-door combat, and this virus has offered an opportunity to confirm that.