Keep on Learning in the Midst of Uncertainty


Keep on Learning in the Midst of Uncertainty


Every public crisis is a precious learning opportunity, although people have to face the accompanying misery. Only can people move forward after learning lessons, collecting experiences and measuring gains and losses. Only can courage face difficulties and more firm hope bring people together. Such a principle widely applies in society. On the contrary, if most people forget or cannot continue to learn, society will inevitably fall into stagnation and degradation. At that time, people will lose courage and hope, moreover, the direction of action, because society shared such stagnation and degradation feedback with all people.


However, since 2020, the constantly mutating virus and the strong epidemic prevention policies have always been chasing people. We rarely have the opportunity to stop escaping and think about our encounters, let alone on this basis, start learning, mutually exchanging, and moving forward accordingly.


From announcing the lockdown of Wuhan to requiring the quarantine at home and transfer to the shelter hospital, and then to the sudden declaration of freedom and virus risk downgrade, now the institute no longer broadcasts public health data related to the epidemic. From insisting on the clearing policy faction to letting it go faction, to in the middle faction trying to discuss but never succeeding, from waiting for the test result in fear to finally turning from positive to negative with various concerns. We have many social roles, from the governed objects to the seemingly opinionated netizens, and finally, become the first responsible person for our health. But generally speaking, people still play the role of those who are quickly and passively involved in the public health crisis in the name of “COVID-19” but are powerless to learn and communicate. So after three years of learning, the virus constantly evolved itself and tried to coexist with human beings. But we displayed so clumsy, passive, slow, and incompetent because we forget or are powerless to learn.


Fortunately, the New Year has arrived! A new year always means a new beginning, a sweep of accumulated habits, and a new hope! On this New Year’s Day, let’s stop in front of this gloomy and uncertain big time, review our personal experiences in the past three years, share our experiences, learn seriously, give a chance to learn from each other, and also give society a chance to restart in the New Year.


Participation rules are as follows:


1) Choose your identity to participate in this event: (1) “Group member” (2) “Group leader”


2) If you are a “group member”, please answer this question:


What have you learned since the outbreak of global COVID-19, or during the period from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2022?


and return your answer (unlimited length and content) to this official account in the form of a real name or nickname, indicating any social identity you like or not indicating any identity.


If you are a “group leader”, please also answer this question first: “What have you learned since the outbreak of global COVID-19, or during the period from January 2020 to December 2022?”; Secondly, use your real name or nickname to indicate any social identity you like or do not indicate any identity, and send your answers to the friends you are willing to share this event with and invite them to participate by email in groups or singly; finally, please take back the answers from your friends and send them to our official email: with the topic “Keep on Learning in the Midst of Uncertainty”. The deadline will be January 16th, 2023.


Apparently, the event itself is also a small experiment of social study, with the hope to understand how many people are learning alone within the reach of our “Official Account” or “Moments” after three years of the epidemic, how many people are willing to organize to join together and learn with friends and companions; what can people learn in the process and where will learning under such difficult will take us?


The sudden collapse of an established order has opened up a rare opportunity for people to reshape “our” world. This is a painful experience, but we may find a new origin from the pain. To remain invincible to the voice claiming “that’s just the way reality is”, we urgently need to integrate our wishes with practice, strengthen our ability of critical thinking, and maintain the motivation of inquiry. To reshape the world, an important medium that can play a key role is the encounter with others. May this event stimulate our desire for self-study and help us to meet others by sharing our learnings. As long as we do not let go and are willing to bear the conflict between reality and ideal, there is always hope!


This event is co-initiated by Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum and The Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies ( It is an extension of the exhibition “The Principles of Hope” held on October 10, 2021 by the Inside-Out Art Museum.


The Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies and Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum will jointly release the results of this event on WeChat Official Accounts before the Chinese New Year of 2023. Let’s wait to see!



翻译:任立康 / 王梓阳


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