Bristol pandemic portraits show human stories behind news

By Jasmine Ketibuah-Foley
Broadcast Journalist

Published
Image source, Leora Bermeister
Image caption,
Photographer Leora Bermeister said she wanted to give people an opportunity to "tell their story"

Portraits of people who say they feel "categorised" by the media and government during the pandemic are being shown online.

I Am In This: Together, Apart shows images with words the subjects feel they have been labelled by projected on to them.

Photographer Leora Bermeister said words like "student", "vulnerable" and "rule-breaker" were dividing people.

The photos are online only during the pandemic.

When the events sector closed due to Covid-19, Ms Bermeister, from Bristol, said she went from having a social career to being forced to shield due to her partner's illness.

She then decided to do something a little different from her normal work.

'Frustrating'

Nick Martin, 27, from Bristol, had to shield during the pandemic as he was recovering from ileostomy surgery, where a hole was made in his abdomen to attach an ileostomy bag.

Mr Martin said during the pandemic he was categorised as "vulnerable" - something he found "extremely frustrating".

Image source, Leora Bermeister
Image caption,
Ms Bermeister said she went from having a very social career to being forced to isolate due to her partner's illness

Ms Bermeister, who has included herself in the portraits with the words "I am isolated" projected on to her, said it is hard for people to feel creative when "an entire world has been isolated".

She said: "This is the first creative project I've been able to do since the first lockdown.

"The media use words like students and rule-breakers that divide us and people get categorised by the media.

"We then stop seeing people as a human so I wanted to give people an opportunity to tell their story."

Image source, Leora Bermeister
Image caption,
Khali Ackford said, as a music photographer, seeing the music industry shut down by the government was "disgusting"

Bristol photographer Khali Ackford said, as a music photographer, seeing the industry shut down was "disgusting".

He said: "I was on tour at the beginning of March and it was the people I work with that reacted before the government.

"We will always be viable. Keep being creative, don't stop doing what you love, we will survive.'"

Image source, Leora Bermeister
Image caption,
Events videographer Lucas Sinclair shared how he lost a large part of his income due to the pandemic

Events videographer Lucas Sinclair shared how he lost a large part of his income due to the pandemic.

"The arts are essential to human existence, how would we have got through lockdown without entertainment?"

Ms Bermeister will curate an exhibition when the events sector is fully operational again but is releasing an image a day on Instagram.

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