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  • Sheila Novak

Why "CoVictory"?

Updated: Apr 1


This project was started in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the recognition that this pandemic will likely have a rippling set of impacts on our communities and the world at large. We are experiencing physical isolation, we are overwhelmed by our screens, we are simultaneously connected to people yet oftentimes not to our neighbors, and projections of food shortages and the general language of "war" that is being used by politicians made us think - what can we do to be actively engaged in our world and our communities, despite this unsettling global shift?


Looking to the past, this project seeks to evoke Victory Gardens, an American effort for people in the states (predominantly women because men were overwhelmingly enlisted and overseas) to produce their own crops. Advertised as a way to participate in the war effort, and to bring "Victory" to the American troops, this effort was also propagated nationally as food was rationed domestically to ensure soldiers were properly fed.


Today, the notion of a Victory garden has taken hold again. Folks all over the country are encouraging putting food on the table through the vitality of a back-yard, and folks have celebrate that the one economic field unimpacted by this crisis is agriculture.


Yet this newfound enthusiasm about back-yard and planter gardenings miss is the opportunity of building community while developing our gardens, or nurturing what we already have. It also creates a value system (why grow geraniums when you could grow tomatoes?) and evokes a certain sense of individualism - you can support yourself by growing your food. Nevermind your neighbors - they will stay 6 feet away!


And yet what we need now, more than ever is community, collaboration, co-creation. Hence CoVictory. Because this is a project we engage on together, and hopefully if enough people participate we will see each other's efforts blossom together.


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