I recently teamed up with the wonderful @heardinlondon to see how we’d work together to get a different angle on the same moment. I’ve been cycling to shoots lately, which is an essential part of any photography project for me with the current situation. I shot on 35mm film, she on digital. The project centred around capturing socially-distanced portraits of people who for very good reasons were unable to attend the recent Black Lives Matter protests in London
This was our first project together.
As @sistahnisha is shielding her parents from COVID-19, she hasn’t been able to attend the protests. She did however make @yasminaaak this sign to take with her. It was her way of making sure that a piece of her was there to support the movement, and her friend. We discussed the importance of friendship and community at this time.
‘The thing worse than rebellion is the thing that causes rebellion’ (Frederick Douglass)
We also visited @kitchenno7 in North London. Rather than a placard, she decided that the thing she felt represented both her heart being at the #BlackLivesMatterUK protests whilst needing to still stay at home, was this painting of her Dad which always makes her smile. We spoke about how lockdown had brought up a lot of deep grieving for parental bereavement. This is a seminal moment where she feels her father with her.
“People often say that fashion repeats itself every 20 years. What I see now is that protest against injustice repeats, and repeats and fiercely repeats. I am the daughter of a black man, the great granddaughter of slaves. I have the genes of rebellion in my blood. My anger at the racism, micro and macro aggressions that I and my family and my ancestors have received over the centuries has eaten at me. It has affected my being.”
“When you look at me I want you to see a black woman; a woman of mixed heritage, but still, a black woman. Don’t tell me, “I don’t see colour”. To say that is to say that you don’t see us, that you can ignore us, that we have no worth to you, that we do not exist. If you say that you had no idea, until now, that prejudice, injustice and racism was still such an issue then I can only conclude you have been deaf and blind or selfish and uncaring to the world around you. If yesterday wasn’t the time to wake up then today is the day to get fucking woke. And don’t even try touching my hair!”
Whilst continuing to cycle in the rain to support folk who could not make it to the protests, @heardinlondon and I visited @sachanotsasha, with her children Ezra’Jacob and Nehemiah’Grace.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t attend the protests as keeping the kiddies safe was at the forefront. Nevertheless, we stand with everyone and everything black. Thank you for taking a stand and speaking. Your voices, our voices and their voices will be heard.”
You can see more of the images @heardinlondon has shot for the project, as well as her other wonderful work HERE.