"What would you do if we can restart 2020?"
China’s most influential media company Xinshixiang 新世相 invites you to join their online social campaign #restart2020 #重启2020你会做什么. The campaign has launched on 8th June 2020 across the major social media platforms in China such as Weibo and WeChat, with a collaboration with 18 Chinese celebrities and 20 illustrators from 20 countries. Gratefully, my piece was a part of this. Here is a message that xinshixiang would like to send you from the campaign –
“With the spread of COVID-19 around the world, we are keenly aware of the gravity of the situation and devastation the pandemic has caused, and are ready to take part in the global initiative. Sharing love is our greatest strength through difficult times as human kind. We mourn those who lost their lives to the pandemic, but we also understand that prayers alone would not suffice to heal the wounds from their love lost. The only path forward for humanity remains that we hope, dream and thrive together as one united and strong community.
We hope to collaborate with you on an illustrated story that commemorates the lives lost--and imagines what they could have been doing on June 6th, 2020 in an alternate universe. The stories may be meagre towards those who have lost their loved, livelihood, or even their own lives, but it is a call to action to recuperate and reboot. We hope that the illustrations and stories can spark positivity and activism worldwide.”
My role was to create an illustration about ‘what could happen if there were no pandemic’ based on a true story that was on local news in Melbourne :
“Melbourne cafe Timbuktu receives $750 in a letter from an anonymous pensioner.
The cafe owner shared this letter on social media:
"Hi Pierre, as our yearly income is below $80000, we are qualified for Federal Elderly Health Card. Therefore we just received $750 benefit. We don't pay taxes because all our income comes from pension. The government says the $750 is for us to spend and help the economy.
I can't think of anything to buy, so I've decided to donate it to your coffee shop - you're of course part of the economy-we appreciate the effort you made to make your cafe family oriented. Apart from this, although it has been very difficult, you have always welcomed us with a smile and this helps us all.
I hope things go well for you. We hope this can help you in some way."
My illustration tells a story that the donor would be sitting in the café enjoying his afternoon coffee, and the café would be packed with a full of joys and laughs that are created by locals….which was exactly what Melburnians used to do before pandemic - I miss it, and doubt that I will be able to see this happening again soon.
If you are in China, feel free to check out the campaign perhaps join the movement. There is also an offline exhibition happening at Chaoyang Joy City Mall in Beijing.