First year students compile a limited edition Blue Book to share their experiences under the Covid-19 lockdown

Our first year students in Aarhus had just started their second semester when the Covid-19 pandemic shut everything down. Realising that they were living in unprecedented times, Blue Book editor - Giorgia Macrelli decided to document their experiences...

2020.05.08 | Ellie Sellwood

The current cohort of Mundusians at the Danish School of Media and Journalism before the lockdown started.

The Covid-19 pandemic has turned everything upside down for most of us throughout the world. With so many of us working from home, communicating via Zoom and Skype and trying to carry on with our day jobs in the midst of a global pandemic, it’s been a crazy time for all of us.

In Aarhus, the first year students had started their second semester when Denmark went into lockdown and they have been juggling living abroad, completing assignments and exams and having limited contact with each other and their tutors for 2 months now.

At the end of March, Morten Braender - one of our year course coordinators - approached Giorgia Macrelli - who was the editor-in-chief of her year group’s Blue Book - about documenting the experiences of her cohort of Mundus students during the lockdown period.

The Blue Book is a special yearbook created by Mundus students at the beginning of their Mundus course in Aarhus so Giorgia jumped at the chance to make another one. She has now compiled a very special limited edition Blue Book with the help of her peers. Here, we catch up with Giorgia to find out more about this project.

Mundus Journalism: What was the motivation behind the project?

Morten, one of our course coordinators here in Aarhus, reached out to me at the end of March because he thought what we were experiencing was extraordinary and that we should document it somehow - I couldn't agree more! Finding out about how Mundus students were coping with the measures taken in Denmark, reflecting on their cultural perspectives and the pandemic was the core motivation behind this project.

MJ: How did you compile all of the stories?

After brainstorming with Morten, I formulated some questions and sent them out to my fellow classmates asking them to contribute to by writing a paragraph about their experience and sending a picture. Once I had the corpus, I created the website! Since I was the editor-in-chief of my cohort’s Blue Book I really enjoyed it doing it all over again - this is a limited edition!

MJ: How are the Mundusians in Aarhus feeling right now as they’re away from home and under lockdown? 

The mundusians in Aarhus are experiencing the lockdown in different ways: some are enjoying the good weather, some are using this time to learn new things and others are practicing self-care and discovering things about themselves. All of us, some more than others, were in a hurry, trying to do lots of things before the lockdown in Denmark; now we are enjoying the little things more and gaining perspective.

MJ: How are you finishing the year/your assignments?

We had an exam in the middle of the lockdown (it wasn’t easy to focus) and we have one left for May. I’m trying to push through and give my best so I can conclude the semester well!

The course is running to plan. We had our exam, our deadlines weren’t extended, nothing has really changed. We finished classes at the end of April and it worked out pretty well in the online format. Morten sent out Friday newsletters to check in on us every week and we have been in contact sporadically with our specialisation universities.

MJ: What is your wish for the rest of your studies?

My wish is that we can move to our specialisation universities without any problems in September and that I will figure out what I want to do after the programme - it’s still a bit of a blurry picture, but I’m positive I will get there.

MJ: What is your wish for the world once we come out of lockdown?

That’s a big question... I hope we will take everything we learned with us and that this experience will force us to rethink our society in a more equal and sustainable way.

Want to see what the Mundus students in Aarhus have been up to? Check out the limited edition Blue Book here!

Thank you so much for telling us all about the project, Giorgia! Good luck with your last assignments and thanks for your hard work putting the limited edition Blue Book together.

Want to join the Mundus Journalism MA programme next year? Applications will open again on 10th November 2020!

Tags: Covid-19, Denmark, Aarhus, Studying under lockdown, WFH