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Covid-19 Lockdown Week 3, Day 4

Part of the Invisible Diaries series

Duška Radosavljević

​​Week 1/Day 4

How much longer, do you think?

On the one hand, I’m enjoying the fact the pressure of the daily grind is off. On the other, I’m starting to worry that we are going to forget how to move freely, that we might develop some sort of claustrophilia or voluntary agoraphobia as a mechanism of coping.

They say that when animals are released from captivity or zoo cages, they continue to move in the same perimeter as before. They lose wanderlust. Is that what will happen to us?

I also have this weird cognitive dissonance about, on the one hand, feeling really angry about the sort of place my birth country Serbia has become - the perfidious neo-Stalinist dictatorship that it is (which, however, appears to help in keeping the virus under control somewhat) – and on the other, secretly missing that profoundly atavistic, mysteriously energising feeling of reconnecting with my roots. We were going to be in Serbia this week; maybe that’s what’s bringing this feeling of homesickness to the fore. We were going to be reconnecting with old friends, celebrating birthdays, smelling the scent of acacia buds in the air, sitting in spa town restaurants, quietly partying, with pleasant spring sunshine and breeze in our hair. Though I love spending time with my immediate family at home, I’m starting to miss friends and those family members who are away, and I’m increasingly aware of people on social media expressing the same feeling.

Only a few days ago we asked our kids, "Who do you miss from your school or nursery?", and they both simply said, "No one". Not in a nasty way, it’s just that they are close enough in age that they can like the same things and keep each other entertained for long periods of time. But today, the six-year-old asked if his friend could come for a sleep-over and my four-year-old has started planning a party! A party for both kids and parents, she says, where everybody was invited! There would be bubbles and decorations, a bouncy castle and cake, a long table and still and sparkly drinks for everyone in our shared garden... I suppose the warm and sunny weather is really conducive to such fantasies too...

I sometimes wonder what aliens would think was going on if they were watching us - all movement suddenly stopping, streets emptying, wild animals encroaching on the town commons. Would they have any means of knowing how much we are still needing each other under these circumstances, craving hugs and verbal jokes and meaningless Pinteresque chats, and /or just simply longing for the opportunity to sit together in the same space in total friendly silence?

Some days before the lockdown my son started a countdown chart for when the next issue of his Ninja magazine comes out again. Every Ninja needs to learn to practice patience, he tells us. So, there we go, my Ninja friends... In the meantime, do talk to me, do talk to each other and start planning your parties for when all of this is finished!

Images courtesy of Duška Radosavljević.


Duška Radosavljević is a writer, dramaturg and academic appointed as Reader at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She has worked as a dramaturg in the UK for twenty years and has been a member of the Dramaturgs’ Network from its beginning, joining the Executive Committee in 2009. Duška writes regularly for the Stage Newspaper, Exeunt and the Theatre Times and is the author of the award-winning book Theatre-Making: Interplay Between Text and Performance in the Twenty-First Century (2013). She currently holds a Leadership Fellowship funded by the AHRC investigating dramaturgies of speech and sound in partnership with Battersea Arts Centre, Digital Theatre Plus and Victoria and Albert Museum, leading to a new book, a conference and a podcast.

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