When we can't dwell in our cities,

it's our stories that should wander. 

The measures that are adopted to combat the spread of the Coronavirus are radically transforming cities and urban life. In the spring of 2020, in a vast and increasing number of cities around the world, large events were banned, schools closed, and public facilities shut.

Spread stories, not the virus is a platform for citizens to share their experiences and reflections in their locked-down cities.    Between Mid-March and May 2020, our initiative collected stories that offer particular and alternative perspectives on the kind of city that emerges when people have to practice social distancing and are confined to their homes.

Our platform rapidly grew to become a space where citizens from all over the world shared creative, constructive and reflective stories. More than 165 stories were published - told by a diverse body of contributors, originating from cities all over the world. In April 2020, our initiative was awarded a grant by the Chair of Social Entrepreneurship at Complutense University Madrid, as it was recognised as a  "student-led solidarity initiative which aims to alleviate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic."

The stories on our website appeared in English, and since the launch of our Spanish-speaking platform, in Spanish. Many stories have been published in the native language of the authors as well. The  Read more about our initiative in "Why we spread stories in times of Coronavirus"


Get in touch with us if you would like to learn more about our initiative or have (media) inquiries. Contact: spreadstoriesnotthevirus [at] gmail [dot] com. 

Read more about our initiative

in two pieces written by our team

Other storytelling platforms

that inspire global solidarity

Spread stories, not the virus

featured in media around the world

Who are we?

As an international group of young urbanists, we saw our universities closed overnight and our cities go into lockdown. Confronted with these measures, we became intrigued by the new urban conditions that have emerged in the midst of the global outbreak of the Coronavirus.  


We decided to dedicate our period of self-quarantine to collect, and spread, stories of cities and citizens around the world. Instead of echoing the dystopian images of abandoned streets that dominate the media coverage, we wanted to provide a platform for citizens to share their experiences and reflections in their cities on lockdown. On March 16th 2020, we launched our website - followed soon after by our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

Our team is made up of students and graduates of the 4CITIES Erasmus Mundus master's in Urban Studies. Visit the team page to meet the people behind the initiative.  

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