Produce a photo story of 10 images that, as a set, tells a story and conveys a narrative. As in Assignment One, engage at local level. Do this assignment in colour.
200-300 word introduction
The theme for the story of this project was supposed to be a reflection of how locals of Wuhan spend the annual spring festival or Chinese New Year. 2020’s celebrations however will be forever known for the novel coronavirus which has made my local community of Wuhan famous for all the wrong reasons. Originally inspired by Martin Parr’s search for the ordinary I had aimed to demonstrate the colourful vibrancy of the holiday with a particular focus on the superstitious use of the colour red.
“I think the ordinary is a very under-exploited aspect of our lives because it is so familiar.” – (Martin Parr. 1952)
Any other year these photographs would of been exactly in that vain, an ordinary build up to the most important time of the year. The title of book In hindsight came about due to the fact these photographs were taken in Wuhan, China the city at the centre of the outbreak. More importantly they were taken in the first two weeks of January a vital time in the spread of the virus. Many articles have been written and there is a lot to debate about about the speed of the response and timing of the lockdown. A month into the lockdown however people start to realise and how important the ordinary really is.
As is often the case with photographs taken before an important event, they often don’t carry the same weight once the event has been recorded. (see fig.1&2).
While this book is never going to be as impactful as that event, these photographs record how ordinary life in Wuhan continued right up to the imposed lockdown on the 22nd of January. On the 26th of January, 2020 it was reported it was possible around 5 million people had already left Wuhan before the lockdown was in place (CGTN News online. 2020) and while Wuhan and Hubei has since taken the brunt of it, sadly many parts of the world are effected now too.
Its a period of time though which looking back had many connotations, for China, the world and me personally.
Photobook – In hindsight
Martin Parr. 1952. A Cup of Tea – The History and Photography of Martin Parr. [online] At https://www.jamesmaherphotography.com/historical-photography-articles/history-photography-martin-parr/ Accessed 20 Feb 2020.
Figure 1 – Adams. E. The Execution Of Nguyễn Văn Lém (1968) [online] At: https://groovyhistory.com/viet-cong-execution-saigon-photo. Source Briscoe center for American history. Accessed 15 Feb 2020.
Figure 2 – Adams. E. The Execution Of Nguyễn Văn Lém (1968) [online] At: https://allthatsinteresting.com/historical-photos#4. Source Library of congress. history. Accessed 15 Feb 2020.
Fig. 3. Global Map of Covid-19. Updated 2.3.2020. Source Expat Focus online platform [online]
Links research used to comply the book