A moment in time: A new initiative that will take its place in the history books
Have you got a story to share? Then listen up. This initiative is for you – and we want to know about it.
Very few of us have ever experienced the amount of limitation and restriction that we face due to Covid-19, as we we do now. Our parents and grandparents may have as a result of wars and other pandemics. And while we come to terms with what it means to be isolated, limited, often alone, restricted, many of us struggle to find any kind of normal out of all of this. But in the midst of all of this weirdness, a wonderful new initiative has been born by one of our neighbours, to capture and remember life as we currently know it, as a snapshot for future generations to look back on, and remember Life in Lockdown.
What is the project?
Many of us have had to drastically adapt our routines to coordinate with a quarantined way of life; parents have become teachers, restaurants have become take-away delivery drivers, grocery shops have become click & collect or delivery hubs, families have been separated, the 9-5 job has become a home-based one where we’re not even expected to brush our hair, or change out of our pyjamas. Online activity has dramatically increased, while things like traffic, pollution and congestion has become temporarily almost insignificant. We’re throwing words like ‘unprecedented’, ‘the new normal’, ‘furlough’ around as if they have always existed in our vocabulary – all direct knock-on effects of the times we find ourselves in.
And yet, in these quietest of moments, new moments and memories are being created all the time.
A few weeks ago, Eddy Pearce established the neighbouring Covid-19 support group for the villages north of Bridport including Netherbury, Salwayash and Melplash. Thankfully, as the process is now flowing relatively smoothly, and the dust has settled slightly within the past week, Eddy has been taking a wider look at what he would usually be doing, were he not involved in the community support group. He realised that he’d be taking photos. Knowing that the times we’re currently in are some of the most unique that most of us will ever experience in our lifetimes, Eddy realised the importance of what our current lives look like and the relevance it will hold for generations to look back on, much the same as we look back on old photos of our own towns and villages from eras gone by, and marvel at life back then. And so was born a plan to create a shared community photo story diary of life in lockdown for Bridport and the surrounding areas. Introducing Bridport Lockdown.
Originally from a photography background, Eddy realised that capturing life as we currently know it is more about telling stories than it is about creating visuals. And with the help of a group of curators, they will be building a story book (currently visible through Instagram and Facebook) to do just that.
How does it work?
The project aims to create a shared visual archive of this period in local history. Covering Bridport and the surrounding areas, and involving anyone who would usually frequent Bridport as part of their daily lives, the project aims to give people a positive, creative story-telling outlet at a time when we are particularly focused on how we engage and interact with our community.
The storyboard project is currently being run via their curated Instagram page with a linked website which can be visited at www.bridportlockdown.org. Individuals who want to take part in the initiative can do so by submitting their entries via Instagram under the #bridportlockdown tag, or by submitting it via an online form on the website.
Images are being included based on 3 themes:
- Changes that have occurred as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown
- Creativity that has been inspired due to the Covid-19 lockdown
- A new normality that is enhanced due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
Apart from these, there may be additional, changing, weekly themes to encourage specific submissions, for example ‘My daily exercise’, ‘The view from my window’, ‘My work / My study’, ‘Our Portraits’ and more.
The curators are looking for photos that tell a story and cover home life, work life and creativity. The intention is to welcome submissions from a wide range of people in the communities to truly demonstrate what life is like amongst all demographics, age groups and lifestyles during this quarantine period. The team is looking for images that extend further than just the artistic but rather demonstrate a snapshot into what life is (and was) like in our region during this time.
And what happens after the lockdown?
Next steps of this initiative is to potentially host a physical exhibition, once life has regained some degree of normality. All of the photos and stories shared will be shared with the Dorset History Centre, so that they can be saved and become part of a lasting archive of this period in our history.
Supporters of the Initiative
The team has been inundated by shows of support from organisations throughout the region, including the agreement of partnership from Bridport Town Council, Beaminster Town Council and the Bridport Community Support team. The Dorset History Centre as well as Dorset Mind have also been agreed as partners of the initiative with many other organisations such as local schools, art departments, community groups, food banks, churches, farming organisations, sports clubs and more, all wanting to be part of this initiative too.
The team is particularly keen to engage with all local groups, businesses and organisations who may be able to contribute with perspectives of their own stories during lockdown. This project is not aimed at only photographers, but rather anybody with a story to share.
If you want to be part of this snapshot of history, visit Bridport Lockdown for more information and start sharing your snapshots!