World Photography Day 2021

Our Photo Archive Assistant John Ashton has selected some very exciting images to celebrate World Photography Day. 

He says: “We have selected this collection because it is new (very new! Still coming in) to our archive. Also, it is the work of young people in Bradford responding to the pandemic (see below). Also it is the first native digital work to be part of Bradford Museums Photo Archive. Not yet available to the public, it is due to be so this Autumn.”

About the Project

Through Our Lens – Self Isolation Project was set up by artist and photographer Carolyn Mendelsohn in April 2020 as a response to the Covid19 Pandemic at the start of the first lockdown . After receiving funding by a Response grant from Bradford Council, Carolyn called out to young people in the Bradford District aged 12-20 to work with her to tell their story of this time. This pilot project took place online on Zoom, where Carolyn ran workshops, master classes, set briefs and mentored each of the young participants. Many had never taken a photograph before, but all were familiar with their mobile devices. 

Through Our Lens is ongoing – and has received Arts Council funding to continue and extend the work. 

The photographs of the young people taken during the pandemic are being archived as a collection by Museums and Galleries as a Bradford photographic project of significance and to enable people in the future to see the experience of young people at the time of the pandemic. 

Some of the works from Through Our Lens are currently on display in the Garden Wall Gallery, next to Cartwright Hall in Lister Park, and will be further exhibited in 2022. 


Selected Photographs 

Self Portrait by Harry Berry 16. 

Date April 2020

 “I wanted to try and convey the stressful feeling of having to learn by myself in isolation with the looming fear of A level exams next year. It seems like my bedroom turned into my classroom before I knew it. A “work-life balance” topples over when your life is put on hold.” Harry Berry 16

Hand on Window by Hamza Saraj aged 14  

May 2020 

This stark photograph is how it feels in lockdown by Hamza Saraj age 14.

Flowers in Ice by Amilah Majid aged 14

June 2020 

“The best way to describe how I feel in this situation is that we are the flowers and the ice is lockdown, if you allow the ice to melt the flowers will come out in one piece but if you break the ice the flowers will break to. I think that although I want everything to return to normal it is happening too soon and the government is breaking the ice due to their greed and allowing us to suffer” – Amilah Majid 14 June 2020

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