The less heard, the less obvious.

A retrospective of events: The Collaborative archive capturing the Covid-19 outbreak

Timothy Lima

Social distancing, self-isolation and lockdown are demands that have been put in place simultaneously by governments all around the world and with the UK entering its third week of lockdown, other countries are in double figures and death rates are still very much on the increase.

Along with the tragic amount of deaths and the constant level of uncertainty that comes with Covid-19, there’s still a lot of mystery surrounding this dreaded virus with nobody knowing how it’s going to personally affect them, or how much it’s going to destroy the economy. People are more worried than ever about jobs, income, family and health and with this in mind,  it’s hard to feel settled.

Although I was too young to remember, it’s said that we’ve been down a similar road before, with epidemics like Ebola and SARS. From my personal perspective, apart from a few careless people, I feel there’s been an incredible sense of togetherness from communities throughout all of this so far, which has undoubtedly lifted spirits of the general public. London’s notorious bootlegger, Sports banger, has been selling t-shirts and kindly donating all profits towards healthy food and drink from local businesses. A team of volunteers are then delivering daily to 4 main hospitals around London for ICU workers dealing with the virus. It’s gestures like this that restore faith into an often considered politically broken country. 

For creatives it can be especially difficult, with the majority of us working freelance, it’s caused a sense of dread  in the community due to lack of income. Luckily, a lot of people and organisations have been focusing on talks and free content, which has been really positive. I’ve seen and been in contact with a lot of photographers and other artists taking this opportunity to work on new ideas that can be produced at home or in the future when this is over. 

Working from home isn’t something that’s too unusual for me which has meant the lockdown didn’t have any immediate dramatic effect on me, until last week when I attended the internment of my grandfather’s ashes. Being positioned two meters away from your family members in a time of grief and celebration is something not many people will have the displeasure of ever facing, but sadly with the way things are going it could be more of a common occurrence in the not too distant future. Funerals are a time when people come together to celebrate an individuals life, a time to hold your family members and assure them everything’s going to be ok, a time to raise a drink to the person you’ll never see again. That being said, with the current laws stating that only close family members can attend funerals and there is to be no gathering of any sort afterwards, for me this stems back to the point that I opened this article with – social distancing and self-isolation. From experiencing a situation as such, this was my time to reflect on this situation and start taking it very seriously. Across the world people are making a conscious effort to abide by the rules set by governments and it’s vital that we listen before it’s all too late. 

In the midst of all this, last month, myself and James (Public-Source) built an archive that would see photographers come together from across the world to document Covid-19. A vital project that not only gives photographers a reason to take photographers and document, but also offers the photographic community a place to come together to create a new body of work collectively and to inspire each other in this unprecedented time. Here’s a selection of images from the archive.

Guido Letteiri
Guido Letteiri: Belluno, Italy
Tommy Sussex
Tommy Sussex: Shadwell, London. 19th March 2020. Due to Corvid-19 precautions these guys had been signed off school the day this picture was taken. Like many teenagers their GCSE exams and future education during this period is unknown. One of the guys explained the W hand sign thrown stands for the white shirts they’re wearing.
Patrick Macleod
Patrick Macleod: NYC – When this crisis hit I saw all my scheduled photo work go up in smoke – I’m fortunate enough to be living off savings from past commercial work, but I’m trying to stay busy documenting and reporting…
Timothy Lima
Timothy Lima: Terceira Island, Azores-Portugal – Terceira Island Hospital, Azores-Portugal. 15 of March- Although not a case of COVID19, elements of the Medical Evacuation Team transport a trauma victim to another island. Independently of the medical situation, including COVID 19, nurses, doctors, technicians and Portuguese Air Force, are on watch 24/7 transporting critical patients between islands and the mainland.
Timothy Lima
Timothy Lima: Drive thru screening centre. Terceira Island, Azores-Portugal. 27 and 28 of March.
Anna Sinyavskaya
Anna Sinyavskaya: Panic is growing in Russia, people are preparing for quarantine and are buying certain categories of goods, namely buckwheat grain, canned meat and toilet paper. A man from China buys a huge amount of sunflower oil, preparing for quarantine. Hypermarket Auchan, Moscow, Russia. 17/03/2020
Jack Springthorpe: Some taxis have put plastic screens between the passengers and driver
Arnold Poschl: Covid in Carinthia – March 16th – to especially protect elderly people, we try to avoid contact as much as possible, which is hard, because many older people feel isolated. I talked to the grandma of my wife through a window this afternoon.

See the full archive Here.

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