9,053. This is the number of horror in Spain. And, surely, when you are reading this, this figure will have gone up. Since the coronavirus arrived in Spain, the number of those infected has risen exponentially to close to 92,900. And we get news that takes our breath away, from the critical situation in some residences to the overflow in hospitals. The coronavirus currently governs our lives: on social networks, in the media and on television. 24 hours, 7 days a week. But Are we all looking at the most human part of this crisis?
Manu Garrido is a journalist and computer engineer and one more person involved in the news whirlwind about SARS-CoV-2. He is also the creator of the Memorial 2020 project, a digital initiative to put a face and name to the many victims that the coronavirus has left in Spain. And tell their stories.
“It was born as a response to the tragic increase in the number of deaths from coronavirus in Spain, which has caused certain dehumanization of the deceased. Only some famous people and very particular cases are named. But everyone has a story that deserves to stay alive, and the internet is, today, an easy way to make it happen, “Garrido explained for Hipertextual.
The page of the digital monument, hosted on Github, aims to be the space to tell those stories so that, as the description of the project explains, “they do not fall into oblivion of the figures and graphics.” To send the story, a form is used, which will be reviewed and then included in the point on the map where the person has died.
It is a tool that aims, as far as possible, to help to grieve at times when many people cannot say goodbye to their loved ones. A few words, maybe a memory photo or song and a point on the map so we don’t forget everything that someone has meant in our lives. “
Memorial 2020 is a way to save the memories of people who could not win the fight against the coronavirus. A memory space that is within everyone’s reach. They are no longer just monuments in a square to honor the victims, now they are also digital offerings. Like the project that was launched after the 2017 earthquake in Mexico, which left 369 dead. The following days after the tremor, the citizen participation on the internet increased to be able to offer verified information amid the chaos. And, in addition, a map to indicate where people died in Mexico City, the area most affected by the earthquake.
The creator of Memorial 2020 has had other influences to create this initiative, such as the Queering the Map project, which seeks to make the queer community visible in the world. They also use a map and, despite Manu Garrido acknowledging that this concept is more artisticThis idea inspired him to create the digital monument to the fatal victims of COVID-19.
But, above all, projects like the one promoted by Garrido, can mark a before and after in the preconceived idea that we have of memorials or monuments. Internet, he explained, opens the doors to a new way of remembering and being remembered. “It will become, like all the tools and initiatives that are born and coexist on the internet, what its users and community want it to become.”