A Covid-19 community dream journal

Reading Time: 3 minutes


Since COVID-19 swept the globe last year, researchers across disciplines and borders came to a curious conclusion. That this nightmare of a pandemic has been affecting us even while we sleep. In our dreams.

Some experts collected large samples of dreams people had during COVID-19 and discovered an obvious negative side to almost all of them.

- Advertisement -

Of course, this is because we’re all a bit disturbed right now. The reason for this was recently explained as mourning lost time and freedom.

And while people increasingly reported dreams about sickness, social anxiety, and isolation during the pandemic, the peculiar phenomenon is not all grim.

Indo-Fijian artist, writer and educator Manisha Anjali runs an online platform called Community Dream Practice (CDP) that hosts a COVID-19 Collective Dream Journal; a collection of dreams experienced by the people of the world during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It [CDP] is a research and documentation archive for dreams, visions and hallucinations. The dream journal is an ongoing research and storytelling project, to see what new mythologies arise from our dreams in our time of collective isolation,” Manisha told Indian Link.

Manisha was away at an artist’s residency program when the idea for this special community project first came to her.

“I was living in Naarm (Melbourne) when lockdown began. I had just returned from an artist residency in Mooramong, a 4000-acre estate on Wadawurrung country, where I was sharing my dreams from each day of the residency,” Manisha revealed

“I was already running a platform where I was conducting audio interviews with artists and writers about their dreams, so I thought to open it up to the whole world, as we collectively transition into a new world order,” she added.

Manisha Anjali.
Manisha Anjali. Image supplied

Born in Suva, Fiji and a descendant of the Girmityas, Manisha spent her childhood in Aotearoa (New Zealand). A film and literature scholar, she completed her honours from Victoria University. Now Manisha lives on Bundjalung country (NSW) and heads the School of Dreams.

“I have not received any formal training on dreams, mysticism and creative writing. I am self-taught and self-resourced, always on the lookout for teachers, but just learning from this incarnation of life as I move through,” Manisha mused. “They [School of Dreams] are imagination workshops I run, where I guide participants to pull symbols and narratives from their own dreams and integrate into their own practices and lives.”

Dreams, ancient devotional poems by Indian women mystics and saints, animal power, mountains, oceans, Girmitya histories, and the worlds of children, are all key influences that guide her practice.

“In many pre-colonial societies, dreams have played an important part of storytelling, mythmaking and healing. Many of us today have lost access to our own dreams, and thus our own cultural knowledge and means of self and social healing,” Manisha remarked.

“I am interested in documenting dreams that communities are experiencing in this moment in history, to learn what our stories are, and to encourage people to share their dreams more with each other,” she added.

Manisha invited folks she had come to know through creative communities and friendships to participate in the COVID-19 Collective Dream Journal. The news mostly spread through word of mouth and social media during lockdown.

The response was overwhelmingly wonderful.

The following are some excerpts from different people’s dream entries.

I was in India, a return to the imagined India of my dreams.
I dreamt of swimming into the deep ocean. I went through the wrong door and ended up right at the bottom of the sea…
I realised that I didn’t have a helmet so I couldn’t actually ride my bike anyway as I was in Australia and not Europe where helmets are an optional extra.
Frozen jalebi! I jumped out of the bed. Ground still wet washed by Aaji, seated.
As I peer into the icy core, I can see moments of life from all around the world playing out in real time like short films, and whatever I want to see appears into view. The more I focus the more I’m able to see…


Some short, some epic-sized, some poetic, and some blunt. These valuable reflections and ruminations are all in one place online for anyone to access. Do with that information what you will.

And if you like, enter your dream here.

READ ALSO: Fiji-Baat: A children’s series about language and identity

Link up with us!

Indian Link News website: Save our website as a bookmark

Indian Link E-NewsletterSubscribe to our weekly e-newsletter

Indian Link Newspaper: Click here to read our e-paper

Indian Link app: Download our app from Apple’s App Store or Google Play and subscribe to the alerts


Twitter: @indian_link

Instagram: @indianlink

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/IndianLinkMediaGroup

- Advertisement -
Bageshri Savyasachi
Truth-telling, tree-hugging journalist.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -


Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

  Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...

Ep 8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s...

  To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic death...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

REVIEW: Antim – The Final Truth

  Director Mahesh Manjrekar's Antim: The Final Truth is a crime drama centred around the circle of fate. Based on the Marathi film Mulshi Pattern,...

The religious discrimination bill will make LGBTIQ+ Australians sick

  The Morrison government’s religious discrimination bill was introduced to parliament on Thursday. The bill, now on its third draft, has been a contentious piece of...
ICC T20 WC 2021 delivers record viewership. Pictured here, Indian team captain Virat Kohli with Pakistani team captain Babbar Azam and opener Mohammad Rizwan. Source: IANS

WC 2021: India-Pak match becomes most watched T20I in history

  With nearly 10,000 hours of live coverage across TV and digital platforms in 200 countries, the 2021 ICC Men's T20 World Cup delivered a...
jango film

Film Review: Jango

  Claimed to be India's first time loop film, Jango is a brave attempt at storytelling. Choosing to make a film knowing fully well that...

REVIEW: Sabhaapathy

  Director R. Srinivasa Rao's 'Sabhaapathy' is a light-hearted entertainer that, despite its flaws, just about works. AT A GLANCE Starring: Santhanam, M.S. Baskar, Preeti Verma,...