Pandemic Playground Photo Series: Jade King and Eleanor Fatharly

Pandemic Playgrounds

by Jade King

This is a collection of photographs of pandemic playgrounds. It’s sad that a restriction of play was necessary for our survival, and I often think about the effects quarantine will have on the children living through it. I think these playgrounds speak to a wider sense of social sacrifice. I usually shoot on film but lockdown restrictions and the challenges that come with it, such as a family member’s need to shield, meant this was not possible. These photographs were taken on a smartphone, which I find opens up another dialogue about the pandemic, as I know a lot of us have found ourselves relying on mobile technology more than ever, a different form of social sacrifice. 

Jade king is a dyslexic poet from the UK.

Twitter: @jadeking__

The Power the Pandemic had over Play

By Eleanor Fatharly

2020 took so much from so many, but one noticeable theft was the simple act of play. At the beginning of the pandemic, I wanted to capture the standstill world we became. Walking out into the wasteland of a UK fresh in lockdown, I found traces of life in the form of signs. A sign that signified the end of play was found at the playground entrance, and the simple laminated sheet spoke volumes in an otherwise silent field. A playground that would have been filled with giggling, screaming, and running was now only voiced by a lone creak of an empty roundabout. The loss of life to such a place was enough to make me feel dread for the long road ahead and sadness for the children who cannot enjoy the simple freedom of a playground. That was when I came across another sign, hand-drawn and tied loosely to the gates of a school playground. These were not filled with warnings but messages of hope drawn by children. Numerous pieces of A4 rattling the gates in place of feet playing hopscotch filled the silence, reminding me that someday, play will return once more.