The Museum of London wants your messed up quarantine dreams

Time to share those freaky sleep secrets you’ve been keeping. For art’s sake.

by Frankie Dunn
26 November 2020, 12:11pm

Something it seems we’ve all united in, this nightmare year, is drifting off into a disconcerting new dreamland. According to a Kings College London survey from June 2020, the anxiety of pandemic life doesn’t stop at plaguing us during our waking hours, it eats into our sleep too. In fact, the researchers found that those between 16-24 years old were most likely to be getting less sleep than pre-COVID (46% reported this was the case), while 50% of people in this age group claimed that they had experienced more vivid dreams than normal. Finding this very interesting, The Museum of London have decided to go fully BFG on the city, and start harvesting residents’ dreams.

In partnership with Canada’s Museum of Dreams (a “hub for exploring the social and political significance of dream-life”, take me there), the Museum of London is launching a research project -- known as ‘Guardians of Sleep’ -- that involves compiling the dreams of Londoners during the coronavirus pandemic as part of their Collecting COVID initiative. By collating dreams as oral histories, the museum hopes to explore what insight our subconscious adventures might offer into mental health in times of crisis.

The project, according to the creator of the Museum of Dreams Sharon Sliwinski, takes inspiration from Freud’s description of dreams as ‘guardians of sleep’, night watchmen that help us articulate our own experiences. “Here dreaming is understood to be a symbolic process that helps us work through the struggles we face in our waking lives,” she explains. “This new research with the Museum of London aims to provide a rich resource for further understanding the significance of dream-life as a mechanism for working through social conflict and how the pandemic has affected the human condition.”

The Guardians of Sleep project will kick off in February 2021 (it’ll be here before you know it) with the chance to discuss your own quarandreams with a trained psychosocial scholar from the Museum of Dreams network over Zoom. The disclosed dreams will be considered for acquisition by the Museum of London for their permanent collection. 

Are you from London? Reckon your weirdo dreams deserve a place in a museum? Volunteer to participate in the study by 15 January 2021 via

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