Molly Ledwith

I’m a senior at Georgetown studying Government and History. Now, I’m back at home in Los Altos, California living with my family.

About my collection

My archive seeks to document the ways in which children make sense of COVID-19 and cope with vast changes in their day-to-day routines. My project’s focus began as I noticed a huge uptick in chalk artwork on my daily walks and bike rides around my community in Los Altos as well as in neighboring towns like Palo Alto. I noticed tons of chalk messages on driveways and neighborhood streets, clearly written by children, saying “Hi Neighbor!”, “See you soon!”, and “We got this!” Originally, I documented these designs to just send positive messages to my grandparents who are also in shelter in place in their home in Connecticut. Over time, I realized positive chalk art messages were not just popping up in my community but also elsewhere across the country. Children were using chalk art as well as other mediums as a means of coping and processing all the change they were experiencing.  

 
 

Through my research, I’ve found that children are finding unique and often wonderful means for adjusting and processing. Elementary school children are making their own newspapers, kids of all ages are having playdates via zoom, and lots of them are creating beautiful pieces of art. These are difficult times for all of us, and children unfortunately can’t be easily shielded from this pain. Yet, as I’ve worked on developing this archive, I’m continually reminded of the strength, adaptability, and wisdom of children as they too experience these uncertain times.

Browse Collections

 

Children's Public Art, Los Altos, CA

 

These images were captured while biking or walking around my neighborhood in Los Altos, CA.

Zoom Playdates

I used social media posts to document  childrens' experiences of online playdates.

 

Teddy Bear Hunts

In neighborhoods around the world, people are putting teddy bears in their windows for children to "hunt" on their walks during lockdown.

 

Childrens' News

A Winnipeg-area father, Tyler Walsh,  painstakingly converted Canadian Prime Minister's Justin Trudeau's March 22, 2020 message to the nation's children into a stop-motion Lego video that went viral. A screenshot of the original tweet by Tyler Walsh as well as the video can be seen here.

 

© 2020 Dr. Ananya Chakravarti

Thanks to Rajeev Kozhikattuthodi for his help in building this website.

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