quarantine and create Third place: funmi lijadu

what is quarantine and create?

Near the beginning of lockdown, BLACKONBLACK launched QUARANTINE AND CREATE, a workbook full of challenges across a wide range of creative disciplines with the aim of not only providing an outlet for creatives' anxiety or frustration, but also a way to create small funding opportunities for our community.

As a human-focused agency, we are committed to supporting creatives of colour. Nobody could have predicted the current Covid-19 situation and we are aware (and experiencing ourselves as a self-funded project) of the real impact of the disease on the opportunities for creatives as well as the financial burden.

We initially planned to give out 3 financial prizes but due to the quality of the work we extended this to 4!

The money will support these creatives, some of whom have been made unemployed, with their groceries, bills or other essentials you may need in this time.

p.s. you can still purchase the workbook to keep you occupied in this last leg of lockdown, all money made will go towards the Belly Mujinga Fund, learn more here.

third place

Funmi Lijadu, is a collage artist and journalist in her second year of studying English Language and Literature at the University of Edinburgh. In her writing and art, she enjoy exploring issues related to her identity as well as wider socio-political issues she observes in the spaces I’m in.

"I love collage because it allows me to express complex ideas in a freeing way. I love experimenting with images that contrast with each other to provoke a strong response from audiences. Art is aesthetic but it is also instrumental for social change. This is why I am invested in sharing content that speaks to wider political and social issues."

the process

I created this Check in and Save Lives poster to highlight the importance of maintaining transparency and empathy in our relationships with each other during this global pandemic.The ‘save lives’ element of the phrase is inspired partly by the government’s campaign to ‘stay home and save lives’. However, my piece shifts attention to the mental health crisis that the life in a global pandemic has caused.

This poster speaks to my personal experiences with anxiety and the fact that having a friend to listen to your issues non-judgemental can lift a huge burden from our minds. I use the symbol of the phone screen to show the positives and negative impacts of social media on the mental state of its users. Despite social media’s toxic culture of comparison and showmanship, checking in on loved ones and emotional support exists online.The phrase ‘you okay?’ at the top is a simple gesture that I think can open up conversations that people actually have been suppressing or holding in for a while. In my experience, as a friend or concerned loved one, you often need to stress your readiness to help or people to open up. I have a lot of friends who feel that they need to be strong to get through things and I often really need to assure them that their vulnerability is okay. I’ve been that strong friend in the past and it wasn’t good for my mental health.

The water imagery speaks to the fluid nature of mental wellbeing. Everyone will have ups and downs in their mental wellbeing due to the joys, frustrations and pressures of life. Lockdown has tested everyone’s mental wellbeing because it has denied people a sense of security in who they told themselves they were or things that they used to validate their sense of being or things they relied on for happiness.

Overall, the poster seeks to soothe people and let them know that it is okay to experience frustrating emotions at this time. It has a hopeful tone by highlighting the more positive potential for social media use, reaching out across the void and connecting with one another.



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