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Emerging From Lockdown

Working with a creative writer and a mass public participation photography project in Coventry, this project examines experiences of lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Taking as its starting point a series of interviews, this project weaves the words of Coventry people's experience of lockdown into a fictionalised narrative story, which, alongside images from a mass participation public photographic project, then became the film: Emerging from Lockdown. These collaborations explore how we have re-gained our Feelings of Freedom (or not) as we continue to emerge from lockdown. PI: Professor Jackie Hodgson.

The Research

Through interviews with 25 people in Coventry city centre in July 2021, the research asked how people have experienced the policing and legal regulation of a public health pandemic.

How do people with young families, those working in front line services, retail, hospitality, the arts or at-home experience the city? How did they understand the legal restrictions on their freedom of movement, and how does the city feel now that they're free to move, meet and gather as they please?

What ‘new normal’ spaces in the city have materialised, and to what extent have the extraordinary measures introduced in lockdown been retained in a post-pandemic world.

This was led by Professor Jackie Hodgson (Warwick Law School; Centre for Operational Police Research) with research assistance provided by Georgie Evans & Livia Mercusa.

The Grid Project

The Grid Project

In the next phase of the project, Jackie partnered with The Grid Project, run by Dave Allen, to invite those who live, work or visit Coventry to take part in a map-based photographic survey of central Coventry over 2 weeks in August 2021. The photographs are shown on the Grid Project pageLink opens in a new window and they were featured in an exhibition at the Warwick Arts Centre held in November 2021 as part of the Feelings of Freedom festival, as well as in various venues across Coventry.

The Creative Writing

After analysing the themes and experiences reflected in the research interviews, the responses from these interviews were woven into a fictionalised story, written by Georgie Evans - "Blinking in the Light". With a little input from Jackie Hodgson and the actor who would narrate the story, Bharti Patel, Georgie crafted a story that touched on many of the experiences spoken of by our interviewees. She captures the joys and the sorrows of lockdown life, and the anxieties of what lies ahead.

The Film: Emerging from Lockdown

The film "Emerging from Lockdown" features Georgie Evans' story, narrated by actor Bharti Patel, alongside the photographs from The Grid Project. With input from Jackie Hodgson and Dave Allen, Mark Udall at Warwick Print produced the film for us, adding in a soundtrack. The result is both moving and uplifting, bringing research findings to life through film and stories. We hope you enjoy it.