On The Front Lines is the first in a three-part project.
Before the coronavirus spread globally, 2020 was forecasted to be a brilliant year. Across several social media platforms, I saw the hashtag #2020Vision being used by many. And as my friends and I celebrated the New Year with fireworks, it seemed like our hopes for the year ahead was starting on a dazzling note.
However, a few months later, our lives came to a jolting halt. And as nations around the world began to go into lockdown, two things became clear – there was no stopping the spread of the coronavirus and no one had the answer as to how long we’d remain in lockdown for.
It’s been over two years since the first national lockdown in the UK was announced and COVID-19 remains one of the most significant global events of our time.
In addition to the rising cost of living, increase in energy prices, and not to mention – climate change, the impact of this unprecedented event is being felt by many and I have no doubt we’re yet to truly realise its lasting effect on our economy, people, and government.
On top of this, as a result of the pandemic, women have been the hardest hit by job losses. Also, women reported higher anxiety, depression and loneliness, and have beared the brunt of unpaid childcare and household work – the so called “second shift”, according to the ONS.
As the government, and indeed businesses are called to implement policies and practices to cultivate a better work-life balance for all, we must also take time out to understand the experiences of the women who worked in essential industries during the pandemic.
It’s on the backdrop of this crisis that the idea for my project – On The Front Lines was born. On The Front Lines will be a multimedia project documenting the experiences of women across the UK who held essential roles during the national lockdown in 2020. It will be the first of a three-part documentary project looking at life in the UK during this time period.
Using filmed interviews and photography, this project will explore the stories of the women who kept the country going while the rest of us stayed at home to reduce the spread of Covid. It will also serve as a means of celebrating their efforts during a time of great strife.
I’m interested in hearing about their mental, emotional and physical realities during this period because in what was a scary and traumatic time for many, these women went out every day and did their jobs. And as such, kept the country moving in a time of crisis.
2020 was an unparalleled year as much as it was revelatory. There has been no event as striking as this in our generation and as a storyteller, I’m called to tell the stories of our times.
I’ll be interviewing women from various essential industries such as healthcare, transportation, local services, education, engineering, social care, civil service, groceries and retailers, delivery services, flight attendants, bank cashiers, field technicians, chefs and kitchen staff, warehouse operators, and postal services.
These front line workers are the backbone of our economy and their stories deserve to be told, and their achievements celebrated.
My art practice is centred on uplifting women and bringing light to their stories and experiences and I’m looking forward to embarking on this journey. I can only hope to document the stories of the women I encounter with grace and pride.
The project will be exhibited in London (and world wide as opportunities arise) and made into a book.
I’m interested in interviewing women aged 18 years and above living in the UK who actively worked (not furloughed) in an essential industry in 2020.
There are two parts to participating and both are required.
- Filmed interview
- Portrait photoshoot (at first with your work outfit/uniform and then styled in gorgeous designs)
To be eligible, you MUST not have worked from home (except teachers) and are able to attend filming in London.
Also, it goes without saying but you must be comfortable with your images and filmed interviews being shared publicly. You’ll be required to sign a photo release that gives me permission to share your images and film publicly.
For your participation, you’ll be invited to the final exhibition, will receive digital images and a print from your photoshoot and be opportuned to share your story on a large scale.
I’m looking for businesses who understand the value of this project and are interested in sponsoring its production.
As an independent artist, I’m unable to bring this project to life without assistance.
Examples of sponsorship required:
- Monetary grant to cover the creative team’s (filmmaker, photographer, assistants, stylist, set designer, etc) expenses and participants’ travel expenses
- Clothing designer(s) to style the participants
- Studio space for production
- Gallery space for exhibition
- Mounted prints/framing for exhibition
- Magazines and publications for coverage
- Catering during production days
If you’d like to assist in any other way not mentioned, please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org
All sponsors will be listed in the film and book credits, hyperlinked on the official website for the project for at least 5 years, as well as mentioned on all social media posts shared about the project.
Or if you’d like to propose a value exchange not mentioned, please get in touch.