News & Politics

An Artist Is Projecting Giant Memorials to Covid-19 Victims on Walls All Over DC

The nocturnal images are poignant and moving. Here's how to see them.

Photo by Sora Yamahira/
Coronavirus 2020

About Coronavirus 2020

Washingtonian is keeping you up to date on the coronavirus around DC.

The faces of those who have died from coronavirus were illuminated in Adams Morgan for an hour Thursday night.

Visual artist Robin Bell projected the photos onto a building along with messages from loved ones as a part of Covid Memorial, a digital archive honoring the deceased and those who mourn them. “Collectively, we’re going through a loss. We’re going through grief,” says Bell. “There’s something about taking a moment and acknowledging where we’re at and acknowledging the people we have lost.”

Photo by Sora Yamahira/
Photo by Sora Yamahira/

The project began with Duncan Meisel, a nonprofit digital consultant from Austin who has collaborated with Bell in the past. Meisel is working with a team of four volunteers to collect memorial messages from social media and through submissions on their site. Many are bound by Twitter’s 280-character limit, short yet poignant vignettes into the lives of those lost.

Photo by Sora Yamahira/
Photo by Sora Yamahira/

“People feel like their family members are being disappeared,” says Meisel. “You can’t go visit them in the hospital, you can’t go mourn with your other family members, and so hopefully this helps provide a way to reflect on this more concretely.”

Photo by Sora Yamahira/

The project’s coordinators are exploring the possibility of another live-streamed projection. But both Bell and Duncan hope people will hold projections of their own, downloading the slides (they can be displayed by anyone a projector and a flat surface).

To share a remembrance, use #COVIDMemorial on social media or submit a slide on the memorial’s website.

LIVE in DC: COVID Memorial projects stories from people who have lost loved ones to coronavirus.

Over 30,000 American lives have been lost to COVID-19. Tonight we are projecting stories from friends and family of COVID victims in Washington DC. You can share these remembrances with your own projection. Slides are available at All you need is a projector and a wall, garage door, or sheet visible to the public. (via

Posted by COVID Memorial on Thursday, April 16, 2020

Don’t Miss Another Big Story—Get Our Weekend Newsletter

Our most popular stories of the week, sent every Saturday.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
Daniella Byck
Assistant Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in August 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied journalism and digital culture.