As it's Love Month we just had to chat to the creator of Instagram-renowned Lockdown Love Stories, Philippa Found. Over the last year she's been collecting and publishing love stories from all over the world in a bid to normalize how we're all feeling. It's joyful, messy, tear-jerking and downright brilliant. We chatted to her about loneliness, her funniest date and why we're all dreaming about our exes.
1. Tell us about Lockdown Love Stories - how did it all start?
I’m an artist and writer and my work always focuses on articulating the messy reality of being a woman: desire, shame, power dynamics in relationships etc. I normally use autobiography as a way of subverting stereotypes or countering the ‘ideal’ narrative we’re sold.
I’ve always believed one of the most radical, feminist things we can do in a culture that shames and silences our realities by perpetuating false ideals is to tell our true stories, to de-stigmatise them and empower others.
When lockdown was announced I thought the shift in love and dating would be profound – I was picturing loneliness, heartache and longing – emotions that are uncomfortable for us to sit with. I read a statistic in Grazia magazine that Google searches for ‘Why am I dreaming of my ex?’ had increased by 2,460% in the four weeks following UK lockdown measures being announced. Collectively, I thought, something’s happening.
I wanted to do something to document the reality of this time and in the process do something to contribute to countering loneliness and those feelings of isolation or shame and believed storytelling through sharing peoples’ true stories was the way to do that.