The reshaping of home, privacy and identity during a pandemic
Journal of Intercultural Studies
Taylor & Francis
School of Arts and Humanities
The ways we experience and construct our homes help us know and define who we are. The digital age and the immense presence of social media in people's lives have led to the redefining and, some argue, erasures of the boundaries between ‘private' and ‘public' spheres. Recently, with wide-scale lockdowns and the mass movement of workspaces to homes in response to COVID-19, these boundaries have been altered particularly radically and universally. This paper explores the changing role and function of the home as more than simply a house–or a physical, concrete space–but as multiple, fluid and sometimes intangible spaces. Analysing Australian digital audio fiction series The Fitzroy Diaries, it investigates how individuals negotiate structures of power in these spaces during COVID-19 to create a sense of home but also a sense of self. A close textual analysis illustrates the ways that those living through the pandemic witness and negotiate on the one hand the shrinking of their internal worlds, but on the other hand the opening up of these into ‘outside’ realms, and how individuals are positioned in relation to these changing spaces of home according to their access to power and privilege.