Lockdown conversations caught on film

A project led by the University of Brighton’s Katy Beinart which captured two-metre conversations in Brighton & Hove during lockdown is to be shown to the public.

Tuesday, 6th October 2020, 3:00 pm
2m conversations
2m conversations

Working with filmmakers Lilly Murray and John Edwards for a series of films called 2m Conversations commissioned by Phoenix Art Space, in collaboration with the university’s Centre for Arts and Wellbeing and Brighton and Hove City Council, Katy interviewed more than 60 people who discussed their experiences of dealing with COVID-19 soon after government restrictions were introduced in March and how it has affected their lives.

The six films will be exhibited as part of the Photo Fringe, a lens-based visual arts festival taking place from October 3-31, both online and in venues across the city.

Katy, who is a senior lecturer in the school of architecture and design, said: “Editing the conversations we had down to six short films was a tough job – there was so much fascinating material.

“The films are a snapshot of people’s concerns around the time of the lockdown earlier this year, concerns which are no less relevant now. Covering topics from food poverty to childcare, work, leisure and more, everyone we spoke to told us stories that were funny, sad, moving and thought-provoking.

“Our world has changed so much in this past year and the films are a window into the moment where people were first facing those massive changes.”

The films will be physically exhibited at Phoenix Art Space in September 2021 and there is hope they will be on display at public venues across the city before that, once restrictions eventually ease.

Duncan Bullen, deputy head in the school of art for research and enterprise and director of the Centre of Arts and Wellbeing, said: “Katy and her colleagues have produced such a timely and relevant set of films and the Centre is pleased to have been able support this artistic commission and to be partnering Phoenix Arts and Brighton and Hove City Council. We’re looking forward to the day when we can view the films at Phoenix and other venues around the city.”

Sarah Davies, executive director at Phoenix Art Space, added: “Quite quickly at the beginning of lockdown, we wanted to create a project marking the impact of Covid-19 directly on the residents of Brighton and Hove.

“The conversations that Katy Beinart managed to encourage are insightful, poignant and with humour, which reflects the mood of our society in these challenging times. With the support from the Centre of Arts and Wellbeing and Brighton and Hove Council, I hope we will continue to capture these stories as we continue to live with Covid-19.”

View the films online at Photo Fringe. https://photofringe.org/

• Talk is increasing of further lockdowns in the UK. What do you think of the situation? Join the Big Conversation and have your say on everything from healthcare to how the pandemic has affected you personally and how we make our communities stronger: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/bc-worthing