Lou Jones

pandemicboston

Artist Statement

at first I was scared
the pandemic was supposedly killing old poor black men in East Boston more than anywhere in the USA
I was looking for the grim reaper outside my door every morning
But I realized this was not going away soon & would be an amazing point in history
It was photographers’ “responsibility” to document
I go to most of the places by MBTA subway & that’s especially vulnerable
Many photographers were doing portraits & people with masks
Very important work
But I was seeing people suffering & isolating & being creative in dealing with the pandemic, i.e. the world changing forever
I wanted each picture to have a narrative
So I chased graduations & recitals & teaching & protests & bizarre things that were a result of coronavirus
I’ve been mentioned in Boston Globe & been on cable access tv & working on a group exhibit in late September
The pictures are hard & complex & take a lot of negotiation to be safe & gain trust & to point out people looking strange
I’m up close in your face
for example I did a funeral Friday
this is ongoing
I hear stories about how people have adapted in other places but I’m restricted by travel & can’t get to them
I’m on the phone constantly trying to expand how the world looks & will look in the future

 

Captions:

1)   when BLACK LIVES MATTER protests broke out it was a challenge to cover them in the midst of the pandemic since social distancing was such as important aspect of protection many of my colleagues used long telephoto lenses in order to not get close to the action but my style is to be “in your face”/”up close & personal” solving that issue was an engineering problem I am covered head to toe with googles & masks & gloves & coat even in the heat I found this unique image where there were none of the typical signs being held overhead & the image concentrates on the health issues I was after south end, boston Massachusetts

2)  most schools had to cancel part of the semester & graduations were almost all virtual & on computers denying seniors of the pomp & circumstance but a few school systems came up with unique solutions this high school coordinated with the local ski resort to transport students & families to the top of the mountain one by one & present the diplomas with a beautiful valley background north conway, New Hampshire

3)  many people in marginal communities & neighborhoods were left without resources Bethel AME church set up free distribution of meals for anyone who needed them church members set up protocols so that the volunteers were inside & protected & recipients stayed outside this is a church member peering out from the interior jamaica plain Massachusetts

4) & 5)  confronted with disappointing the students of a dance school the owner & her husband erected a stage in the parking lot near the studio & held the recital outside Plexiglas barriers separated each performer & the family/audience parked their cars in front of their child like a drive in movie theater so as to stay separated  methuen Massachusetts

6)  a dear friend was asked by one of his childhood buddies to compose, sing & dance in a virtual music video the composer, hip hope dancer & rapper got to work & the entire piece was assembled with 68+ performers using cellphones  the music editor & video editor & all the singers were all over the USA & never were in contact with each other hyde park Massachusetts

7)  the image in the SUV was outside a Thai restaurant making curbside deliveries on a very busy street, orient heights Massachusetts

8) the anomalies of what you see during the pandemic alter our perceptions constantly  this reflection was made all the more poignant by the PPE mask east boston Massachusetts

9) a prominent community activist had her funeral services at Cathedral of Holy Cross south end boston Massachusetts

 

www.fotojones.com

 

Join the conversation