Walking through the pandemic
The past few months have been one of surreal experiences for me as a photographer. Somehow, I have been feeling weary at the end of day without any specific reason, especially after doing a job that takes me outside while the city has been under lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19. I tried to figure out what caused this weird feeling and realized it was likely the emotional toll associated with coping with this difficult time.
When I walked around Jackson Ward in Richmond, I felt that I could visualize my sentiments by photographing this small district of town. Even though most of stores were closed, I could still encounter people on the streets. Some waited for buses to commute, some are the homeless. All had their reasons for being outside, like me.
This historical district with a long tradition of African-American businesses has been severely impacted by the coronavirus after a history of ordeals that included segregation, being divided by the interstate highway, economic fallout and gentrification.
This photo essay is my attempt to capture the emotional tolls within us through Jackson Ward. It also has been one of my coping mechanisms to deal with this surrealistic time.