One year after the first recorded cases of COVID-19, we are still in the eye of the storm. This forum comprises of initial attempts to process how we can understand an unfolding crisis that, like the virus itself, continues to mutate and transform.

Mapping the Shanghai Lockdown

Since MArch 2022

This First Looks entry presents a graphic collection of 100 stories from the city-wide lockdown period in Shanghai beginning in March of 2022.

00:00, June 1st, 2022, it was like the New Year’s Eve clock ringing for Shanghai. That night was even more lively than New Year’s Eve because fireworks that had been forbidden since the Spring Festival of 2016 did light up the skyline of Shanghai at the first midnight of June. People walked out on the streets, drove on the city’s Elevated Roads, and celebrated the long-missed freedom. 

During the past two months, Shanghai, one of the world’s largest, busiest, and most flourishing cities, turned on the “silent mode.” The spread of Omicron in Shanghai challenged the city’s operation and people’s life in an unexpected way. When Covid-19 spread in Wuhan in 2020, Wuhan was locked down for 76 days, from January 23rd to April 8th. It was a tough time and a heroic commitment to control the pandemic. Two years later, when similar situations happened to Shanghai, nothing was heroic anymore. 

The first step to understanding why this happened is to record and remember. This project, “Mapping Shanghai Lockdown,” collected 100 pieces of memories and stories from the lockdown period of Shanghai. It is not a summary nor a judgment. I hope it can serve as a glance into the foggy time.

If you are interested in submitting an essay, video, work of photography, or other creative work to the First Looks series, please contact Bishnupriya Ghosh and Michael Berry at: [email protected] and [email protected]  

first looks

One year after the first recorded cases of COVID-19, we are still in the eye of the storm. This forum comprises of initial attempts to process how we can understand an unfolding crisis that, like the virus itself, continues to mutate and transform.