The Museum of London wants your Covid pandemic dreams for Guardians of Sleep project

Robert Dex
·2-min read
<p>A to Z of dreams</p> (Museum of London)

A to Z of dreams

(Museum of London)

Museum of London curators want to get inside your head for a project collecting people’s pandemic dreams.

They are asking for volunteers for their Guardians of Sleep project which will record testimonies from people talking about their dreams.

Digital curator Foteini Aravani said she got the idea from talking to colleagues and friends who reported getting more vivid dreams during lockdown — a phenomenon that was later confirmed by official research.

She said: “Life is a little bit more dull in the lockdown and there is this juxtaposition with dream life where we create something more exciting.”

The dreams will be collected in recordings of conversations between volunteers and psychoanalysts discussing them and their possible meanings.

Ms Aravani said: “Collecting Londoners’ dreams helps stretch the definition of a ‘museum object’ by adding dreams as raw encounters and personal testimonies to our permanent London collection for the first time.

“As part of the Collecting Covid initiative we will gather dreams as first-person oral histories, with the aim to provide a more emotional and personal narrative of this time.”

The museum has teamed up with The Museum of Dreams (MOD) at Western University in Canada for the project, which will look at what dreams can tell us about mental health and coping with stress at times of crisis.

<p>Dreaming…of a bigger bed</p>

Dreaming…of a bigger bed

Sharon Sliwinski, from the MOD, said: “This partnership takes inspiration from Freud’s description of dreams as the ‘guardians of sleep’, where dreams are seen as night watchmen helping to preserve the integrity of our mind.

“Dreaming is understood to be a symbolic process that helps us work through the struggles we face in our waking lives.

“This research aims to provide a resource for further understanding the significance of dream life as a mechanism for working through social conflict and how the pandemic has affected the human condition.”

The interviews will take place in February over Zoom and volunteers are asked to get in touch by January 15 on