Maria and all the Grannies of the World: a story of kindness during the 2020 Coronavirus crisis

Luca Damiani is locked-down in his adopted home in the seaside town of Hastings on the south coast of Britain; but his family is beyond borders in hard-hit Italy, including his nephew, Nicola, with whom he has collaborated on a picturebook, hoping to spread a story of hope and solidarity. Read it below - alone, or with the little and the big people that mean a lot to you, in person or in a video call - and share kindness like a nonna would.

Nonna Maria's story is also available to read in Italian, Spanish and French, all below...

My whole family lives in Italy, my mother is a doctor and I have one aunt in hospital. So, it is a stressful time with distance and worries, and anxiety. But also time to be fulfilled with love and kindness and with a need to reach our family and friends in different ways, trying to be there for each other even when far away.

So, in my lockdown inside my flat in Hastings, I worked on an illustrated story for my mother and my family in Italy, in order to share some love with them first of all. But then - now - I am sharing it with many friends, who are sharing with many of their friends and families, and so it's a sharing of love for all!

It is a story that reflects the change of life for many - for all of us... and it reflects the community spirit that we are all creating out of this strange and difficult time. And so, in the first 3 to 4 months of the pandemic I developed this illustrated story, also collaborating with and including my dearest nephew Nicola, who is 17, lives in Italy, and is off school at the moment. We worked quite hard on this during our isolation, having a proper intense creative production line at distance, with the aim to give and share a message of hope.

I hope you enjoy it, maybe on a full screen mode on your desktop computer or laptop. It is a story of love and kindness as we need to make sure that we balance this situation and we try to share positive messages with the people with love as well as with people that we don't know at all.

Watch the animated visual audio-book:

Read the picturebook in English, Italian, Spanish and French:

Text and illustrations by Luca Damiani. All rights reserved.



FRANÇAIS (external website)

This story was shared by Luca Damiani, an Artist and Associate Lecturer in Graphic & Media Design at University of the Arts London. He is Italian but has lived in the UK for 15 years, currently in Hastings, beside the sea in East Sussex, with his partner Lucy and two Italian Greyhounds, Tootsie and Piccolo.

How do you experience living in your city under Coronavirus? Share your story and join us to Spread stories, not the virus.

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