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Published: April 22, 2020 | Updated: April 22, 2020

Capturing history: Bridport Lockdown will be a visual archive of an extraordinary year in time

By Andrew Diprose, editor

Lockdown memories in a Dorset town captured digitally look set to become an archive for future historians in the same way that diaries in the past recorded significant moments.

Bridport Lockdown has been launched to archive stories from daily life in and around Bridport during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.

The aim is to create a visual reminder of the challenges faced by the community and reflect life during the ‘new normal’.

The initiator of the project, Eddy Pearce, realised the importance of recording stories of daily life surrounding the Coronavirus quarantine period after establishing a Covid-19 support group for villages north of Bridport including Netherbury, Salwayash and Melplash.

With a background in film and photography, Eddy started to look at ways that he could enable the local community to capture what current lives look like – and the relevance it will hold for generations to come.

The project is currently being run via an Instagram page using #bridportlockdown with a linked website where people can submit their own photographs and stories and a Facebook page.

Images are being encouraged in three main categories:

  • Changes that have occurred as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown.
  • Creativity that has been inspired due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
  • The new normality that is evolving due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

In addition, there will be weekly themes to encourage specific submissions, for example photographs that depict ideas like ‘My daily exercise’, ‘My work My study’, ‘Doorstep Portraits’ and more.

The project team is looking for photos that tell a story and cover home life, work life and creativity.

The intention is to welcome submissions from a wide range of people in the communities to demonstrate what life is like among all demographics, age groups and lifestyles during the current quarantine period.

There are also plans to display the stories as a physical exhibition, once the lockdown period has ended.

All photos and stories will also be shared with the Dorset History Centre, so that they can be saved and become part of its Covid-19 archives.

Eddy said: “From a simple thought about wanting to take a doorstep portrait of a self-isolating local resident who my family and other locals had been helping, an entire project has very rapidly been born.

“There has been heart-warming and ever-growing community engagement as people start to get involved.

“We are also thrilled by the support this project has already received from initiatives and organisations who have chosen to partner with us.

“These include Bridport Town Council, Beaminster Town Council and the Bridport Coronavirus Community Support Group.

“The Dorset History Centre and Dorset Mind have been confirmed as partners of the project, having not only recognised the importance of documenting this period of social history, but also understanding the positive effect of participating in an inclusive project that unites the community of Bridport.”

The project team is particularly keen to engage with all local groups, clubs, businesses, charities and organisations able to contribute with perspectives of their own stories during lockdown.

It is aimed at not only photographers but anybody with a story to share.

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