Photography: Lost in fog
In the past, by this I mean the fast paced life before covid-19 I was not a fan of the fog and moisture in the air while on the move, due to the fact I have African Caribbean hair which is chemically straightened combined with being short means I fall victim to having completely messed up hair. But during the latest lockdown it hadn't seen the light of day or felt any kind of breeze, having to work primarily from home again meant my outreach work was next to none meaning I rarely saw anyone so I opted to wear an array of head scarves, making life so much easier.
So a few weeks ago when I woke up to the fog, I used it as an opportunity to escape confinement of the four walls which are now feeling like a prison & get out and have a relationship with my city, regardless of the effects it would have on my hair. I'm sure we can all agree the fog adds a different dynamic to any landscape, the views offer more depth, mystery to spaces & buildings.
I walked through the city centre first thing in the morning, starting at the library moving down to the canals through China town and onto the outdoor markets. The fog added a cold and eerie atmosphere, you could feel the emptiness and frustration, there were a small number of people going to or from work, scattered on different side of the streets, still a far cry from the pre covid hustle and bustle. Walking around seeing so many shop closures was soul destroying, as I think of the jobs lost and the many lives this pandemic has affected. All the coffee shops we'd deem social hubs where people would be chatting, waiting, chilling or buying or having breakfast were silent and still. It was like I was attending a mass funeral of shop workers who had lives before this pandemic & for some their lives were spiralling out of control or still in limbo, not knowing when things will be resumed.
I know this from my role as a community networker as I saw the other side of the furlough scheme. Some saw the furlough lockdown scheme as a way to enjoy time with family and DIY, however the calls I made were to those on the opposite end of the spectrum, offering support & assist individuals who were battling some very challenging times. Whether it was for a food parcel, clothing request, mental health support, debt or housing issue or immigration services. Its common knowledge many people were struggling before the pandemic now some are literally on their knees, due to the services they were able to access no longer being available in the accessible way they were. So if you are fortunate enough to be working full time, manage to pay your bills comfortable on furlough, have ready available food, have a support system of family or friends think of those who are not as fortunate as you, to have these basic needs & requirements. The effects of this pandemic will be long term with creative, innovative & compassionate solutions needed to improve the environment for many communities across Birmingham, so with that last thought I’d like to share my collection of photos with you which I have titled ‘Lost in a Fog'