Jaskirt Boora

British Asian woman, in her late thirties, standing in Sutton Park Birmingham. A lockdown portrait shot on medium format film, on a Mamiya RZ67.

During lockdown I was lucky enough to experience a strong sense of community and good neighbourliness. During this time I made new friends and acquaintances with people on my street I hadn’t talked to in the 6 years I’d lived here. Growing up in a corner shop I had always known my neighbours and community, and lockdown meant I finally built that same sense of belonging.


When I approached this work to create lockdown stories, I wanted to extend the feeling of good will and togetherness I had experienced, to others that might have had only minimal contact with others.


Through a network of family, friends, colleagues and organisations I began engaging with people across the city about their life in lockdown and recording a dialogue of how the pandemic had affected them. Each participant chose the location that best encapsulated their lockdown experience and together we worked on producing a set of collaborative portraits. Sometimes I would spend up to 3 hours with each person, talking and taking photographs, moving around in the physical space. Everyone I met was so glad to be give their time after such sparse interaction for months on end.


The final work featured here includes the conversations that were collected (tap on information at the bottom of each portrait to read). The book features the images and art work from the participants that was collected through workshops too.


This project was made possible thanks to a GRAIN Projects commission, part of the national programme 'Covid-19 Responses', supported by Birmingham City Council, ACE and National Lottery Players.

A white pensioner aged married couple, photographed in their back garden in Sutton Park Birmingham. A lockdown portrait shot on medium format film, on a Mamiya 7ii.
A middle aged black woman photographed in their conservatory in. She works in the theatre. A lockdown portrait shot on medium format film, on a Mamiya 7ii.
Dr Jaz Mavi, a British Asian sikh man in his thirties, photographed in the ward of Heartlands Hospital. A lockdown portrait shot on medium format film, on a Mamiya RZ67.
Michael Tye, a white male pensioner, at his allotment in Handsworth. A retired science teacher, Michael is an active member of his local community. A lockdown portrait shot on medium format film, on a Mamiya 7ii.
Supreet Singh Suri, a British south asian Indian musician from King Norton, photographed in his back garden.  A lockdown portrait shot on medium format film, on a Mamiya 7ii.
Elayne Dwyer, 53, a black woman photographed in Moseley Bog. A lockdown portrait shot on medium format film, on a Mamiya 7ii.
Rosie, Michael and Stella King. A family portrait in their kitchen in Kings Heath.  A lockdown portrait shot on medium format film, on a Mamiya 7ii.
Aabidah Shah, 23, from Sheldon Birmingham. A graduate from the class of 2020 from University of Wolverhampton. Photographed in her bedroom, her place of study. A lockdown portrait shot on medium format film, on a Mamiya 7ii.

Abdullah Basket, Labanese Munch, harbrone high street. A street portrait. A lockdown portrait shot on medium format film, on a Mamiya 7ii.
Jonnie Turpie, 66, Moseley. An MA fine art student at Birmingham School of Art. Photographed in his home in Moseley, Birmingham. A lockdown portrait shot on medium format film, on a Mamiya 7ii.
Rachel, manager of Ikon Barbers, Harborne High Street, Birmingham. A lockdown portrait shot on medium format film, on a Mamiya 7ii.
Dr Niki Lee, a doctor at Good Hope Hospital. Photographed in her back garden in Sutton Coldfield. A lockdown portrait shot on medium format film, on a Mamiya 7ii.
Keren Garcha, 34, photographed at home. A lockdown portrait shot on medium format film, on a Mamiya 7ii.
Ben Jeffery, manager of Oikos Café, Erdington, Birmingham. A lockdown portrait shot on medium format film, on a Mamiya 7ii.
Aloma, 47, with her daughters Tonya-Lee and Tamoy at Edgbaston reservoir Birmingham. A lockdown portrait shot on medium format film, on a Mamiya 7ii.
Tamoy, 10, at Edgbaston reservoir Birmingham. A lockdown portrait shot on medium format film, on a Mamiya 7ii.
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