Recollecting COVID-19 – 365 Days under Lockdown: The UP Archives Remembering Competition

Posted on March 26, 2021

26 March 2021 marks a year since the University of Pretoria closed its gates under the COVID-19 national lockdown regulations. Classes went online and university life as we knew it ceased to exist. Scattered across the nine provinces of our country as well as beyond our borders, members of the UP community all faced and adapted to this unprecedented global crisis in different ways. Whether as a UP undergraduate or postgraduate student; or an executive, academic, administrative or professional service staff member, we all tried to create a sense of “normality” and coped with our various situations. The uncertainty was certain, the way forward uncertain – but we did know that this too would pass and one day we would reflect on these days. 


Student Matete Mangena's submission was one of ten runners-up in last year's competition.

Given the success of the UP Archives’ #UPstaysafe photographic project launched in 2020, the Archives has decided to launch another remembering project to reflect on a year of being in lockdown: Recollecting COVID-19 – 365 Days under Lockdown: The UP Archives Remembering Competition. This competition, in collaboration with the Department of Institutional Advancement, aims to create a written and oral memory of how we, as students and staff of the University of Pretoria, managed and excelled while living under lockdown.

All students and staff are invited to submit a:

  • Poem / Limerick / Song
  • Commentary / Story / Reminiscence
  • Drawing / Sketch / Video clip
  • Spoken word poem / Voice note / Recording

that reflects on how you saw life during lockdown and how it affected you: the fears and frustrations, the trauma and tragedy but also the hope and humanity during this unprecedented time.


An image submitted by student Ashlin Bheemraj was also part of the top ten images in the UP Archives’ #UPstaysafe 2020 photographic project,

These recollections will become part of the UP Archives’ collection, where they will be safeguarded for future generations to reflect on how members of the UP community overcame in a time of global adversity. 

Rules and regulations:

Participation in the project is voluntary, free and open to all students and staff of the University of Pretoria.

The copyright of the recollections will become the property of the UP Archives on submission to the competition.

The University of Pretoria will not be held responsible or liable for any damages, expenses or loss of whatever nature or injuries incurred during participation in this project.

Participants in the project understand and agree that in order to enter their recollections in the project, the entrant must obtain prior written permission from any person/s referred to or depicted in the recollections that their story can be submitted for the UP project and used in exhibits (if applicable). The University will not collect the personal information of individuals, unless such information is voluntarily disclosed.

(The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into)

The University reserves the exclusive right, at its sole discretion, to discontinue the project at any time.

It is your responsibility to ensure that any information you provide us with is accurate, complete and up to date. 

No responsibility will be accepted for entries lost, delayed or damaged in transmission.

Closing date: the project runs from 26 March 2021 to 26 August 2021(No late entries will be accepted or considered).


  • Please submit entries via [email protected] or via the UP Archives website: UP Archives | University of Pretoria.
  • Please include your: name, surname, student/personnel number, degree / faculty / support service department and contact details. If you prefer, your entry can also be archived anonymously. Please indicate this on the submission form or in your email with the entry.
  • A caption, title or description should accompany each recollection.
  • A maximum of five entries will be allowed per person.


  1. Overall winning submission: R 5 000
  2. Best UP student submission: R 2 500
  3. Best UP staff submission:  R2 500

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