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Lockdown diaries - a different perspective

For some years now I have known and become a friend of Lisa McKenzie, a working class academic ethnographer. Why working class? Because that is what she is. We met when I launched a history book that I had written about Columbia Road, now home to the renown Flower Market in Bethnal Green.

When I grew up there, the only thing it was renown for was poverty. It was an economic poverty, not a poverty of ideas, or of humour and certainly not a poverty of resilience.

When Covid became a threat in 2020, Lisa asked people that she knew to write a diary during the first month of lockdown.

Rather than define the how, she left it open. Written word, spoken word, anyway anybody felt comfortable. They are all people who, like myself, identify as working class. Like me, some have had careers in avenues of life that seem something the more privileged amongst us might pursue, others not.

It is often the prism through which we view our world, in my opinion, which defines where we see ourselves in this class ridden society of ours.

Having had a great response, and garnered stories from all over the Country, Lisa had a vision of presenting them to the public not as an academic book, but a book with illustrations.

The whole team, of which I am a member, identify as working class whether we are publishers, fundraisers, illustrators or writers.

Lisa has asked me to help extract the text and dialogues from what is a large number of works. I have just begun and I have to tell you that the richness, the beauty, the fight, the tension and the humour I am finding is humbling to say the least.

The project is being funded via a Kickstarter Campaign.

If you are interested in supporting this I will be putting the link below, and also to Lisa's website.

All the best.

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