This special issue features 12 contributions by early career scholars and artists dealing with the role of mediatization in the COVID-19 pandemic conjuncture. Themes such as mediated intimacy and sociality, pandemic ideology, politicians’ curated authenticity and discursive constructions of self, and playbour and resistance in digital games are examined in five original articles, while three autoethnographic contributions explore the concepts of mediated presence, collectivity, contemplative community, loneliness and relationality. The autoethnographies – in the form of short film, collage and poetry vignettes, respectively – add a personal experiential layer to the broader themes. To generate (mediated) interpersonal dialogue, two artists/academics engage deeply with the autoethographies, further reflecting on the themes explored therein. The issue concludes with an interview with Professor Andreas Hepp, of the University of Bremen, who comments on the contributions and reflects on the role of “deep mediatization” in the pandemic world.
"Let the distance be physical", by Cristina Estanislao on Unsplash. Submitted for United Nations Global Call Out To Creatives - help stop the spread of COVID-19.