DIARIESDocumenting culture's journey out of the crisis
We know this current situation will make it into the history books, but what is it really like to live through it now and how will it be remembered. We have invited creative individuals to record their journey through Covid-19 to create a digital diary.
In partnership with Literature Works, we have invited Holly Peters to be our first contributor. Holly is a 19-year-old student from Plymouth University, studying English Literature with Publishing and is Plymouth’s Young City Laureate.
Our second contributor, in partnership with Take a Part is Katie Oborn who is currently studying journalism on a distance learning course through The National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). She also writes poetry, fiction and reads her work at spoken word events, when not in lockdown! Katie also has acting experience, loves drama, theatre, dance and performance.
In partnership with Fotonow, we have invited two photographers to capture images that reflect upon this current moment in time.
Anita Benjamin is a documentary photographer based in Plymouth that explores the significance of place and land as a dimension of human life, encompassing themes of cultural and social experiences and identity.
Raman Feiz is also a filmmaker and writer currently based in Plymouth. He was born in Kurdistan (Iran) and holds a BA degree in Cinema from University of Art & Culture, Tehran (Iran). He wrote and directed the short ‘Sar’, and self-published photo book ‘Life in War’ which depicts people impacted by war.
‘A ray of sunshine on a crisp autumn morning and a walk in nature always restores good mental health and keeps my spirits up during difficult times.’
‘Something good to come out of the pandemic, a way to bring the community together safely’
‘I started writing these entries as we were adjusting to the empty streets, empty shelves in supermarkets, the empty days. ‘
Receiving GCSE results, a socially distanced visit to the City Centre and preparations for the return to school
Local artists perform poetry, dance, music and songs and it almost felt like the old normal.
‘Looking back – time a fragmented puzzle, racing but trundling, fast then slow. Not as we have known, close and then far and then close again…’
“A visit to a car dealership since lockdown was a little different with Sanitising stations on entrance and all new cars sanitised. “
Katie visits Plymouth market Stall 24 selling comfy slippers for working from home and face-coverings for visiting shops.
‘The world was beginning to shed its petals, unfurling like spring into summer’
On a walk through Plymouth City Centre and the Barbican, stopping for a coffee , I see and feel what is to be our new normal.
“Restrictions are lifted, lockdown eases and people continue their lives alongside coronavirus.”
“The broken fence and wire with the flowers symbolises for me the gradual easing of
restrictions that we are experiencing at the moment and more freedom.”
“It’s like driving around a city I don’t live in. The present straining to fit the past into the wrong shape of the future.”
Matthew talks of how life in Lockdown has affected him, his family and his work with Fotonow in the latest of Raman’s Covid Letters.
Anita reflects upon the early morning queues and “open” signs on her journey to work as Plymouth continues to emerge from Lockdown.
“Six months with years of events crammed in”
“My son and I drove to the NHS test site to be tested for Covid-19”
“This week has seen the results of the eased lockdown and humans are back in their masses.”
“Enjoyed strangers smiling, birds singing in silent streets, better quality of air”
“It felt strange to see the streets buzzing with people again and day to day life is still far from normal”
“New signs are being erected in bus shelters to ensure people keep safe, as the amount of people travelling on buses is anticipated to rise”
“It feels as though I am having to learn to live in another country where friends, family, activities, shopping and teaching are all seen through the medium of screen”
“We learn that with good food and family, a birthday in lockdown wasn’t really that different to a birthday before.”
Katie joins a socially distanced beach clean on Teats Hill beach.
“There are signs of preparation for the reopening of non-essential shops that are able to comply with the Covid secure guidelines”
“I sit at my desk and write this lockdown diary. Document the elastic days that are simpler than the ones we have known. Hours on end to spend learning, educating, discovering. Growing.”
“To be honest I’m quite enjoying the solitary pursuits”
“Life feels so restricted and I long for the freedoms pre Covid-19”
“It has been sixty days now, since the lockdown started here in the UK.”
“We watched the world change,
Now we watch it change again”
Katie Oborn speaks with Plymouth volunteer group Clean Our Patch
Anita explores how we interact with our spaces as lockdown begins to ease
‘We were co-ordinatinating and buying plane tickets when suddenly everything changed’
‘Dates slipping away becoming nothing more than another day of distance, another day locked away’
Eventually, things will change again
As boredom sets in, we look to our past selves for inspiration
Anita’s son’s birthday has an unusually quietness
Anita captures the stillness of life in lockdown around Plymouth
Katie reflects on the passing of time during lockdown, includes a video of her reading
Raman studies the stories of the people at their windows during lockdown
‘The lid hasn’t been lifted but they’ve pierced it with enough holes for us to breathe’ – Holly considers the easing of lockdown
Katie reflects on the community in the air during the clap for the NHS
Raman’s first diary entry focuses on the windows of lockdown – and their pets
Exploring Mutley Plain and the Hoe
Holly considers the impact of VE Day on our lockdown routine
Anita is a documentary photographer based in Plymouth that explores the significance of place and land
Every morning I wake up to the same day. In the same bed, in the same room.
Katie continues to document lockdown from March 23
Katie Oborn explores Plymouth without people
Holly explores the effect of life on pause on us – and nature
Holly’s first diary entry explores the nature of adjustment and how the absence of routine can derail your very sense of being.