Coping Mechanisms


We’re delighted to launch a brand-new podcast series with Somerset House. We explore the importance of creative initiatives devised in lockdown, and the impromptu communities that have grown around them. Over four episodes, we speak to Jarvis Cocker, Fusion, Noel Fielding, Sue Tilley, Tim Burgess, Carol Morley, Robin Ince and Nabihah Iqbal.

To listen, search “Somerset House” on your favourite podcast app, such as Audioboom, Google Podcasts or Spotify.

In March this year, lockdown in the UK became inevitable due to the coronavirus pandemic. With almost all of our projects coming to a halt, we found ourselves with unexpected time on our hands. We talked enthusiastically about starting an online project, perhaps talking to people about the music they’ve been listening to while isolated. Seeing endless photographs of empty streets all over the UK, we even came up with a name for it — Deserted Island discs. Giddy with excitement we even registered a domain name. And then did, literally, nothing else about it. 

Fast-forward through several weeks of lockdown and it’s been fascinating and heartwarming to see so many lockdown projects have actually been started. The communities that have grown around them organically online have helped many of us feel even just a little bit less isolated. 

Speaking with the people behind some of these ventures, we’re keen to find out what we can learn from these them, what drives them to take that extra step, from just having a good idea, to acting on it? We’ll also be thinking about why the arts are so important in times of crisis. Feeding the imagination seems to play an important role in our collective mental wellbeing. But if the creativity is so integral to our survival, why have we allowed society to value the arts so lightly? 

Coping Mechanisms is a Somerset House podcast
Created by Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard
Produced by Eleanor Scott & Daniel Breuer
Music by Bernholz

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