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My Call to Action: Life During a Pandemic & Protest in New England

Brooke Bartletta | MA, United States

St Paul's Church in Hingham, MA, closed its doors in mid-March.

On March 18, 2020, I put aside my life of fine art photography for one of constant documentation. My home in New England (like everywhere else) had been upended by an invisible foe - COVID-19. Documenting became my call to action. I acted on pure instinct and thrust myself into the unknown.

What none of us could have predicted was that, a few months later, America would be reeling from another equally troubling issue that has been wreaking havoc on this country since its founding: racism. On May 25, George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest. Following his murder, protests broke out all over the country, and, once again, I felt called to document the response of my community.

The pandemic had put us in our homes. The protests were bringing us back out.

This project is evolving along with the pace of the pandemic and protests. Bertrand Russell once said, “memory demands an image,” and this pivotal moment in time demands documentation.


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