Big Issue Foundation

Photographer Captures Life in Lockdown

Photographer Hannah Drimer has published a new book capturing images of life in lockdown, with 10% of the proceeds being donated to The Big Issue Foundation.

  “At the start of Lockdown in March 2020 I thought to undertake a photography project to record this unprecedented new way of life. I reached out to families, roommates, individuals, actors, musicians, engaged couples and those with new-borns, to take their photographs, usually outside their homes, with objects that represented their time in lockdown. Overall I collected 118 narratives from all over London, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Essex which I then collated into a book, along with the relevant photos. One crocheted a whole outfit, another made and distributed scrubs to nurses and doctors and some people used the time to learn a new language. I have now self-published this archive for myself, and others, to look back on.

The project started close to home, but when lockdown rules relaxed slightly, I started cycling all over London with my DSLR camera. Overall I travelled almost 1,000 miles. I asked each household to fill out a consent form, which included their personal narrative. Not every narrative was positive, but in almost all circumstances there was hope for the future. For some the lockdown was, and still is, a challenge mentally, but hopefully people will be able to read and relate to the stories told, sometimes smile and take a positive message forward.

Once I decided to take on the project that I hoped would eventually result in the publication of a book, I thought it would be good if that project could also be used to raise some money for a homelessness charity. The book came out of lockdown and the pandemic, but, of course, for many, homelessness is far from an issue of just 2020. Myself and my family have long admired and supported how the Big Issue is used to help vendors gain a level of self support and respect. I also realised that during lockdown support was not available in this way, and therefore the Foundation would need to provide additional support. I am therefore pleased to be able to support the Foundation by offering a percentage of the book sales and, by mentioning this in my book, to hopefully make others more aware of the need to support such causes.

I learnt lots of new skills from this project – from editing the book, to getting it printed, learning about what should be included in a book, such as having an ISBN number – all things I wouldn’t have had a clue about before! I have also picked up more skills on portrait photography from working with families, and even pets!

My favourite part of the project would have to be my biggest achievement, which included me cycling just over 50 miles from where I live in North London, all the way to South London, on my own, and taking photographs of 8 different households that day. It was so surreal how quiet it was around Buckingham Palace and the surrounding area. I also loved seeing how happy it made people, with many telling me after visiting them and taking their photographs, how much it made their day having a “change and something to dress up and look forward to!”

Lockdown Living is available to buy on Hannah’s website here with 10% of all sales donated to The Big Issue Foundation.

Every copy counts this Christmas

Your local vendor is at the sharp end of the cost-of-living crisis this Christmas. Prices of energy and food are rising rapidly. As is the cost of rent. All at their highest rate in 40 years. Vendors are amongst the most vulnerable people affected. Support our vendors to earn as much as they can and give them a fighting chance this Christmas.

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