Mae + Harvey Portrait of owner Natasha Sayliss All photos ©Jamie Sinclair

Photo essay shows people coming together when times are tough

Local photographer Jamie Sinclair captures how residents, businesses and organisations came together during the early days of lockdown. 

Sinclair was walking to his favourite local cafe, Mae + Harvey, in mid-March, when he noticed that they had transformed into a makeshift convenience shop.

‘They were just completely changing their model on the fly. They were losing business but they were just doing what they could to keep going. They were selling milk, flour and other products that had run out in supermarkets.’ The owners of Mae + Harvey would eventually go on to be in this photo essay. 

Impressed by how the entire community was adapting to these new and strange circumstances, Sinclair went out to capture how everyone: businesses, individual residents and organisations, were helping one another. 

He photographed Barge East and Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, who were both involved in charitable efforts volunteering and donating food to key workers, all while their own businesses were closed. 

‘Part of the project was about businesses helping people and in turn, those people supporting local businesses,’ says Sinclair.

He also photographed individuals involved in local Covid-19 mutual aid groups.

‘Everyone just jumped into action, helping out their neighbours who are mainly strangers to each other,’ he says.‘The core of the project was to capture positive actions by local people.’ 

In fact, the more he looked into the local area, the more deeds of goodwill and solidarity emerged. The photo essay below also shows ‘socially distanced bookswaps’, where neighbours would leave books for each other on public spaces, and trolleys of donated food carted from St. Paul’s Old Ford Church to Bow Foodbank

These photos are taken on film, usually during sunsets and sunrises, to achieve their naturally warm colouring. 

If you liked this, you might also enjoy this photo essay of local people’s photographs of life in lockdown.

Barge East food delivery box Neighbourly lockdown photo essay©Jamie Sinclair
Barge East’s lockdown food delivery box ©Jamie Sinclair
Owners of Barge East wearing gloves Neighbourly lockdown photo essay©Jamie Sinclair
Owners of Barge East boxing food deliveries during Covid-19 ©Jamie Sinclair
Neighbourly lockdown photo essay©Jamie Sinclair
Sinthu, a volunteer in a Covid-19 mutual aid group ©Jamie Sinclair
Covid19 Book Swap books left on doorstep Neighbourly lockdown photo essay©Jamie Sinclair
Covid-19 book swap ©Jamie Sinclair
Sinthu Covid19 Mutual Volunteer driving in car with gloves Neighbourly lockdown photo essay©Jamie Sinclair
A Covid-19 mutual aid group volunteer’s gloved hands ©Jamie Sinclair
Priest and staff collecting donated food at St Pauls Church Neighbourly lockdown photo essay©Jamie Sinclair
At St. Paul’s Church during Covid-19 ©Jamie Sinclair
Trolley of donated food at St pauls church Neighbourly lockdown photo essay©Jamie Sinclair
Trolley of donated food at St. Paul’s Church ©Jamie Sinclair
Mae + Harvey Portrait of owner Neighbourly lockdown photo essay©Jamie Sinclair
Mae + Harvey Portrait of owner ©Jamie Sinclair
Mae + Harvey products toilet roll and oat milk Neighbourly lockdown photo essay©Jamie Sinclair
Mae + Harvey products on sale during Covid-19 ©Jamie Sinclair
Roman Road Market arch Neighbourly lockdown photo essay©Jamie Sinclair
Roman Road Market arch ©Jamie Sinclair
Zoe from Zoe's Ghana Kitchen Neighbourly lockdown photo essay©Jamie Sinclair
Zoe from Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen ©Jamie Sinclair
Masked staff boxing food Zoe's Ghana Kitchen Neighbourly lockdown photo essay©Jamie Sinclair
Masked staff at Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen ©Jamie Sinclair
Boxes of rice from Zoe's Ghana Kitchen Neighbourly lockdown photo essay©Jamie Sinclair
Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen boxed food ©Jamie Sinclair

 


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