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Finland launches Museum of Contemporary Emotions to aid Covid crisis recovery

The virtual project combines art and science in an effort to help people weigh the emotional impact of the pandemic.

Screenshot from the opening page of the Museum of Contemporary Emotions virtual tour.
Screenshot from the opening page of the Museum of Contemporary Emotions virtual tour.

Finland's government has announced the launch of a 'Museum of Contemporary Emotions', which seeks to help people reflect on and recover from the Covid pandemic.

"The Museum of Contemporary Emotions is designed to support citizens in recovering from the crisis while recording extraordinary times in an exceptional way," the project's Head of Communications Päivi Tampere stated in a government press release, adding that it aims to "help our society anticipate similar events in the future."

Combining aspects of science and art, the virtual museum journey begins with the declaration by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in March 2020 that the Covid-19 outbreak was a pandemic.

The tour then charts the timeline of subsequent key events throughout 2020 — including people's battles with insomnia, the move to remote learning and an unexpected baby boom — with a special emphasis on self-reflecting on pandemic-era emotions.

People's emotions during the crisis were tracked by analysing statistics, search engine and social media trends, and research surveys, among other methods.

30 photographers, 6 artists featured

The museum's images were provided by about 30 photographers who captured everyday life in Finland during the pandemic, while six artists were commissioned to create a series of emotionally themed artworks.

A series of reports and surveys throughout the pandemic have highlighted the impact the crisis has had on people's mental health, including on immigrants living in Finland and young adults.

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