Show and Tell: 08
Something to Hold by Alison Roberts

Social distancing is a communal act of solidarity and care, but it can be dull, disheartening, and lonely. Something to Hold is Alison Robert’s way of helping in this time of isolation.

In this participatory project, Alison sends out postcards with recommendations for a film, poem, and book to enjoy while indoors.


If you would like to receive one of Alison’s postcards with three unique recommendations, please send in your mailing address here by April 6th, 2020 - the postcards will ship worldwide. The first 15 to send in their address will receive a card. 

An image of an array of postcards and envelopes overlapping one another.

For the greater Special Special community, Alison has shared these tips to aid and soothe during gloomy nights inside:

Movie—Atlantics, Mati Diop
Book—Death on the Installment Plan, Louis-Ferdinand Céline
Poem—Distance, Dorothy Parker

While many of us stay in touch with coworkers, friends, and family, strictly screen-based communication can feel insufficient. There is value and warmth in being able to hold something in your hand that shows someone cares for you.

An assortment of international stamps

A note from Alison:

“I have a close friend with whom I only write letters. It began when she first left New York, and since then, every WhatsApp has paled in comparison. If you’re able to, I hope you’re making the most of your quarantine. If not, send me your address, and I'll send you a postcard with a book, movie, and poem recommendation.”

Alison Roberts is a Ridgewood, Queens-based communications manager. She has held positions at MoMA PS1, The Armory Show, Phaidon Press, and Mana Contemporary. She loves New York, going to the movies, and finding abandoned books on the street. 

Follow Alison on Instagram for more content.


For Show and Tell, Special Special invites a selection of artists to produce or share work that can be viewed in the browser, downloaded, or streamed. The work is presented as a series of digital exhibitions periodically delivered to email inboxes.

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