Collage Arts

Lockdown Diaries 2020

 

Lockdown Diaries 2020

Stories of strength and endurance by London’s women writers of Colour 

“I always dismissed the possibility that I could write something that I completely invented. I made assumptions about what I could do, based on the fact that most of the authors I read, growing up, were not from my background. They weren’t black, poor, working-class, second-generation immigrants, with a black Caribbean single mother raising 4 children in a council flat.” Sandra Howell

12 London women chronicled their lives through the spring and summer of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. These diaries provide a unique, written record of an unprecedented time, capturing the many faces and the many moods of lockdown. They write with candour and clarity, allowing us to explore their worlds, sentence by sentence…

The Blue Sky
Makes Me
Hopeful

Lola Clinton

Lola Clinton speaks to her mother, long passed on, and to her daughter in real life, via WhatsApp. She places George Floyd’s death in the context of 400 years of exploitation. But the smell of fresh herbs makes her smile and the blue sky makes her hopeful.

AUDIO
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Recurring:
A Diary March – September 2020

Sonia Hope

Sonia Hope reads and writes her way through lockdown. She has fun with hiphop dancing but decides best stick to yoga. She leaves a blank space on the page for George Floyd to occupy.




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Why am I Thinking of
Anne Frank? 

 
Margaret Woherem

Margaret Woherem is thinking of Anne Frank. The narrative on social media moves from Corona Virus to Black history. The destruction of Tulsa, colonial atrocities and medical experimentation foreshadow 1930s Germany, as the impact of the virus on Black people sinks in.

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When I Laughed About
Two-Ply & Other Lonely Observations

Ebony Francis
Ebony Francis’ body voted for seclusion without her permission. Her friends are unnerved by her vlog on loneliness. Conspiracy theories abound: why has no-one rich or famous caught the virus?


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The Madness
of Lockdown

 
Mounira Chaieb

Mounira Chaieb feels the invisible shackles of her lockdown sentence. She endures the 7-day a week noisy renovations from the house next door. She notes the changing attitudes to mask wearing. But can she escape incarceration to travel overseas?

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The Bitter and the Sweet
of COVID-19

 
Monia Dakhli
Monia Dakhli’s son and daughter-in-law spending lockdown in her house delivers a central role in the arrival of a granddaughter. A new life fighting her way into London at time when the report of the death toll from the pandemic is a feature of daily life.

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The Power Cut


Yvonne Williams

Yvonne Williams shows four generations of the family seeking to support each other through lockdown and two falls. The NHS, working to new Covid-19 rules, is both a source of reassurance and concern, as every cough brings fear of the hidden virus.


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My Love Left but
I Found My Star

Champagne

Champagne knows that the news is depressing, but her young son Mali needs occupying. They have mother and son games nights. Birthdays are a challenge, but how hard can a Zoom party be? The other man in her life is anything but dependable. Thank goodness writing proves a great distraction.

Life Cycles

 
Sandra Howell

Sandra Howell saw herself as a reader, not a creative writer, but recently that has changed. Lockdown brings back the roller coaster of emotions experienced after she confounded the medics by surviving a Road Traffic Collision in 2006. Now she can express this in poetry.

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One Day, Any Day
 

Pippa Sterk

Pippa Sterk adapts to home working and video meetings, while measuring out her lockdown by counting: rooms in the flat, house spiders on the prowl, leaks in the bathroom. She needs to get out of the house. At least the goslings in the park haven’t noticed the pandemic.

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Locked Down,
Locked Out!

Ijuolachi Obiora

Ijuolachi Obiora looks back on the lockdown, those ‘bloody queues’ and the bubble that blew away Sue’s legendary hugs and gave her anxieties about childcare as she wondered Are they clapping for me?



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Going Around,
Coming Around

Laura Sampson

Laura Sampson always knew that one day, Childhood would “unspool to reveal the Real World. But Right Now ‘Real World’ is suddenly a whirl of cotton candy licked up and swallowed, a feast for Corona. Lockdown comes Unreal thing. How long for? How long is a ball of string?”

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Collage Writing Room empowers unheard voices to reach new audiences. These pieces of creative writing were developed remotely during the Corona Virus pandemic, Lockdown Diaries which reveal the lived experiences of women from North London in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

These diaries, part of the Creative Futures project, have been co-financed with support from Arts Council England and Collage Arts. The resulting content is the sole responsibility of the authors. Neither the funder nor Collage Arts can be held responsible for the use which may be made of the material herein.

 

Collage Writing Room is powered by Collage Arts. Collage Arts receives no core funding for its project work. Each year it has to raise in over £250,000 to make projects like this one possible.  

 

Any donation to www.justgiving.com/collagearts is greatly appreciated.