by Hattie Myers
On March 11, 2020, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic and called for countries to take urgent and aggressive action.
“Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death… We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: all countries can still change the course of this pandemic.”
On June 25, 2020, the director-general announced that the number of infections were expected to reach ten million next week and the number of deaths five hundred thousand.
Psychoanalysis, art, and poetry make visible and expand the boundaries of our psychic reality and so the world. But what happens when those boundaries fracture? When we are on top of each other and oceans apart? When days merge and space contracts? When inner and outer reality converge on a pixilated screen? Just this. We must create a new path forward.
For the last three and a half years, each issue of ROOM has been a snapshot of our struggle to make sense and give expression to our experiences. Launched only a few days before the pandemic hit the United States, we knew that ROOM 2.20 was the darkest, most foreboding issue we had ever released. What we didn’t know was that it would mark the moment before everything changed–in our consulting rooms and in our cities. Standing still, ROOM 6.20 marks the first weeks of COVID-19. With over fifty contributors, this magazine is the most international and interdisciplinary issue we have published to date. Mingling souls, ROOM 6.20 is as intimate, authentic, and immediate as a letter. It cuts across time and space. It is non-linear. Start anywhere.
Editor in Chief
A Note from the Editors
We are living in an era defined by its historically unique acceleration of events, a convergence of major social movements, and shifts of unprecedented scale. Concurrent to the final rounds of production for ROOM 6.20, the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery, among many others, have moved society into times of not only loss and grief but also passion, motivation, and empowerment as well. At ROOM, we believe in the power of psychoanalysis, literature, culture, and the arts to facilitate social change. We work every day to maintain an open space for the community, not only to express the complexities of our realities but to be antiracist and to act in defense of human rights and coexistence. We invite you to use our platform and to share it with your colleagues and friends.
Hattie Myers PhD, Editor in Chief: is a member of IPA, ApsA, and a Training and Supervising Analyst at IPTAR.
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