Corona Conversations

A series of films in partnership with RSA fellows

(and others!)

Please, please call us, don’t sit at home worrying. People are isolated and that makes the worry so much bigger. But there is someone out there, there is someone who will listen

I think it’s important that we don’t just drop back into the old behaviours in the future.

Cristian is an economist working especially with mineral extraction in emerging economies – here he talks about a potash project which could change the economic future of Eritrea in East Africa

The third sector resilience funded was launched before Easter – personally I have been surprised by how few organisations have come demanding the money in the next 20 minutes or they’ll be closing the doors – Alun Jones, WCVA

Money is a construct, we can print money when we want, but its a problem we’ve created for ourselves that we have to grow all the time, but at the other end of the scale we can just ‘be’ – and it doesn’t have to be all about drive and growth and all that – Pauline Burt, Ffilm Cymru

“The COVID has shown how fragile the eco-systems are. Going forward, once we have found a vaccine, I think we’ll pull together as a species and start to tackle climate change in a more coordinated way.” – Mark Simpson, Co2 Balance

As Abe Lincoln said “If I had six hours to cut down a tree, I’d spend the first fours hours sharpening the axe.” – Gareth Jones

I wonder about the implications for ‘Gen Zs’ – will they travel as much as we did, what will happen to the gap year from now on? – Jane Edwards

“Big donors are moving away from grants towards impact investment, social enterprise and sustainable`inable financing models” – John Weakliam, VITA

They say “when the world is predictable, we need smart people, when it’s unpredictable we need adaptive people” – Ive been thinking, we also need people with strong values, who’re decisive – quite feminine qualities – Usha Ladwa-Thomas

“I went to the market today and the price of foods has gone really high – so what we are thinking about in Kenya now is providing for the family” – Eric Kimori

“If you’ve got a problem, you’ve got to come with solutions. The way I see this, Somaliland is really looking.” – Eid Ali Ahamed

“People this country has effectively been telling for the last four or five years are unwanted are saving us and dying doing it – it makes you realise where this country is in how it sees migrant communities” – Prof Calvin Jones

“we talk about this as if everyone is having the same experience, but that’s not the case. It think it is really worth paying attention to the experience we are each having” – Richard Strudwick

“Sadlly there will be a lot of people homeless once the virus has burnt out, so we are trying to built a Covid response that it Agile:” Craig White

“It could be very different afterwards, very heart-centred… that’s my ask:” Dee Gray

“I think there are positives that come out of this, but if we don’t have the conversations about the kind of economy we want now, we may end up falling back into a bad place…

“There’s been insufficient difference in the discourse… I hope that people will look back on this and be grateful.” – Mark Hooper, Banccambria

‘It’s okay to feel uncertain instead of surrounding ourselves with the certainties we had before. It’s about being shaken up…we’ve always been dancing on a moving carpet and now there’s a bright light shining on that carpet and all we can do is keep moving.’ Hywel George

‘There’s a Chinese saying…at the time of great storms some people build bunkers and others build windmills, and I think it’s our job to build the windmills that will stand the storm and use them to create a different kind of result’ Andy Middleton

‘The world is saying you can no longer live like this – and I feel that that is what this space has given us, the opportunity to reframe those thoughts!‘ Glenn Davidson

Isolation Island – Flatholm #underthemask

One of the blights of Victorian times was a rapacious killer, that had arrived in the UK from Asia. It took out many thousands. It was a condition that particularly affected poorer communities and those who arrived from overseas – Sound familiar?       The Cholera epidemic, was one of the defining moments of the […]

One-track Mind – reporting #underthemask

On the day `British deaths from COVID-19 become the highest in Europe we choose to reflect on problems, that existed before we dropped all other stories for Corona Virus. Girls are still being cut and married young; refugees are still fighting for space and recognition in camps; wives and mothers are being beaten – babies […]

It never rains but that it pours – western Kenya #underthemask

On top of all the problems of the Coronavirus lockdown, it’s important not to forget that other challenges exist, many of them longer lasting than a virus. In Western Kenya climate change has brought another bout of flooding. Thousands of Kenyans have been displaced from their homes and are living in temporary camps, according to latest […]

TOWNSHIP POWDERKEG – South Africa #underthemask

I’m not pre-disposed to fear. But something is waking me, in the small hours, before the dawn chorus. Head working, heart racing, adrenalized and stuck. Like many I am defined by what I ‘do’, despite my efforts to just ‘be’.  I have coped well so far with my impatience. But like the latter stages of […]

BRON GONE, GENERATION EXITED – family #underthemask

 I am called to remember today that, amid the furore and drama of the COVID-crisis, human life continues – and in some cases stops. Children are born, people are getting ill (unrelated) others are dying (sometimes also unrelated). It’s come to pass in my family. My parents have been gone a long time. Mam passed […]

Unsustainable Reliance on NGOs- Greek Refugee Camps #underthemask

There has only been one topic of conversation now for WEEKS. We get it, of course! It’s a big topic. But at GRIOT CREATIVE we are striving to draw  attention to the plight of those who were already in crisis, BEFORE COVID-19. As  Collette Lette Batten-Turner writes, Refugees, in camps in Southern Europe have dropped off […]

Beyond the margins in Tamil Nadu, “Untouchables” #underthemask

In many parts of the world, where margins between survival and death are thin, the Coronavirus is throwing up some very different questions to those faced in Western Europe. A report in the Financial Times recently shone a bright light on the response across much of Africa – many would rather risk the virus than […]


One of the most bizarre stories to reach us at Griot during the Covid crisis has been that of the ‘vanishing leader.’ The one time poster child of the ‘poetic-revolution’ in Nicaragua has a habit of disappearance – but surely never at such a critical time. This week he resurfaced with just as much mystery. […]


Getting older is scary. It can be confusing, lonely, isolating. Many families live distant from aging relatives. The pace of 21st century life often leaves sons and daughters with the sad, but inevitable, choice of putting parents in a home. The only way out for most, is in a box, bound for a final resting place.  […]

Women lead the Fight against the Virus – #underthemask

We have been interested for sometime in the new generation of female leaders across the world and impact their having on the economies they run – imagine our delight then, when we found an article in FORBES looking at the impact those leaders were having in the battle against COVID-19. It’s early days, but the […]


One of the economies we generally look to with awe and admiration has set itself completely apart from the rest of Europe in its approach to the Corona Virus pandemic. We have been watching the Swedish response with interest. But once again, rather than judging from afar we reached out to a National. This is […]

MAASAI FEAR – #underthemask

Today we are returning to Africa for our latest #blogpost from the #coronavirus story. We have many connections, in many countries, but as some of you may know we have been heavily invested in the #Maassai over the last 12 months. A letter we received this week triggered us to return to the poster-tribe of […]

Glenn Davidson #underthemask

The world is saying you can no longer live like this – and I feel that that is what this space is given us, the opportunity to reframe those thoughts!


A life I had some understanding of It is absurd I know. I am surrounded by land – woodland and open fields – we’re facing the sun, we have far reaching views, I can see the sea in the distance and the North Somerset coast beyond. Yet I have moments of feeling so closed in […]


Malawi, a beautiful country, but one of the world’s poorest Malawi, is not without its challenges. But, so far, it has not reported any cases of Coronavirus – one of the few countries in Africa to remain free of the disease. But it’s braced for devastation, if it comes. Malawi is used to dealing with […]


For six months, up to the end of January 2020, we were blessed @Griot to have in the team a young Spanish editor and filmmaker called Malva Soler. She took time out to travel to the Canary Islands for a few weeks, before visiting her parents, in mainland Spain. Our intention was to welcome her […]

Balkan Breaks abandoned – for now: #underthemask

I was triggered this morning by Facebook. It often happens. And it’s generally the unsolicited ‘memories’ that start it. Today, it was pictures of Easter travels to the Balkans. My son Madoc and I would visit Bulgaria – partly for pleasure, partly to take care of our ‘affairs’ in the country. Nine years ago, nearing […]

Guatemala grits its teeth – #underthemask

Guatemala grits its teeth – #underthemask As the virus crosses the world “like a back-packer” today’s blog post concentrates on the impact of the virus in Guatemala. On the day we should have landed in Central America to look at a programme of work based on sequestering carbon and building a cycle of funds for development […]

ISOLATION TOGETHER – participatory communication in isolation

In today’s blog from the frontline of the COVID crisis, we are coming a little closer to home. One of the new members of our team here at Griot is Lette Batten-Turner. She is a remarkable addition, coming from a background of study in international development and participatory communication. Lette was about to launch a […]


If you think there are challenges at home, picture social-distancing in a country with over a billion people. India has many memories for me, one of the most vivid is what seemed to be a totally eccentric sense of spatial awareness! To the extent that, in my favourite state, a burn on the ankle from […]


If you’re going to be locked down anywhere there may be fewer more interesting places to choose than Peru – but lock-down is lock-down, no matter how breathtaking the scenery and charismatic the people. I have been watching with interest the journey of drummer and musician Aaron Meli on facebook in recent days. He is a […]

Africa and the virus

So far the continent of Africa has got off lightly in terms of numbers of cases of  COVID-19 – but how long will it last? The most recent figures we have seen here at Griot Creative suggest the virus has now been confirmed in 39 of Africa’s 54 countries. There were just over 2,500 cases by […]