Geographies of digital storytelling: care and harm in a pandemic

Jessica McLean, Sophia Maalsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Around the world, digital geographies have been renegotiated in the COVID-19 pandemic, from increased surveillance with digital devices to facilitation of new spatial boundaries for work and recreation. Digital storytelling has emerged as a ubiquitous way to communicate care, and sometimes enact harm, at multiple scales during COVID-19. Digital technologies are allowing people to share narratives and experiences that capture how they adapt, recover, and resist the damaging aspects of health and economic crises via digital technologies. We focus on care to appreciate the diverse ways that humans and more-than-humans are coproducing digital geographies while facilitating narratives that maintain and repair our worlds so we can live as well as possible. But harm is also facilitated by digital storytelling and considering how the same technologies facilitate opposite processes makes for challenging digital spaces and analysis. A digital geographic approach helps to read the effects of these changes as it uses an integrated lens on spatial and justice issues. As the boundaries between public and private places have blurred with spatial and physical distancing, digital devices are mediating, enabling, and constraining forms of care and harm with a new intensity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCOVID-19 and similar futures
Subtitle of host publicationpandemic geographies
EditorsGavin J. Andrews, Valorie A. Crooks, Jamie R. Pearce, Jane P. Messina
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9783030701796
ISBN (Print)9783030701789
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameGlobal Perspectives on Health Geography
ISSN (Print)2522-8005
ISSN (Electronic)2522-8013


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