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View From a Pandemic: Observed in Nashville, No. 1

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY JOON POWELL, JOHN PARTIPILLO, DAWN MAJORS, AND BILL STEBER

Illustrating their divergent perspectives and practices, four photographers from Nashville, Tennessee, USA, each with a solid foundation in newspapers, have prepared a pandemic-era exhibit that is slated to be presented next year at Vanderbilt University and the Scarritt Bennett Center in Nashville. In the months leading up to the exhibit we’ll feature their work in an ongoing Anthrow Circus series.

#EndSARS: Nigerian Youth Battle Against Notorious Police Unit

TEXT BY VICK JESAM
PHOTOGRAPHS BY DESMOND OKON

October’s civic action in Nigeria calls for an end to a Nigerian form of police brutality targeting young people. While our recent View From a Pandemic story about protests during the pandemic highlighted the way protests against police violence transcend national boundaries, this story zooms in for a closer look at details that make global stories unique at the local level. Our contributor in Nigeria helps us understand the specifics of the call for change, as they stood on October 14, and why, no matter how similar the images may appear, each call for local action is its own chapter within humanity’s global story.

View From a Pandemic: Togo’s Informal Laborers’ Hope for Survival

PHOTOS AND TEXT BY/PHOTOGRAPHIES ET TEXTE PAR A.J. JOHNSON
FRENCH PROOFREADING BY/RELECTURE FRANÇAISE PAR CAROLINE BERNARD-GILBERT
ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY/TRADUCTION ANGLAISE PAR KAMI L. RICE

While the horns of two taxis blare, further noise rattles the Lomé intersection of Sagbado. “Olé yia, Olé yia?” (“Do you need a ride?”) cry out the drivers of motorcycle-taxis as they rush toward the car taxis that have just stopped in front of the Sanol gas station. The motorcycle drivers hope to attract the attention of passengers exiting the larger taxis and gain another fare by taking them to the passengers’ final destination. The scene is nothing new. It takes place over and over again all day long, from the rising to the setting of the sun. However, for the past few months, since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis and especially since the government decreed a curfew and state of emergency, a new group of venders has joined the motorcycle-taxis at this intersection.

View From a Pandemic: Masked Protests

PHOTOS AND TEXT BY TUNDE ALABI-HUNDEYIN II, CÉSAR ARREDONDO, AND SYLVIA ASARE

In this “year of the pandemic,” every big news story of 2020 takes place against the backdrop of the pandemic, a reality that affects these events in ways sometimes obvious and sometimes not yet clear. Protests in the United States over police violence dominated world news cycles this summer. But like the pandemic, the protests didn’t stop at national borders. In this article, we bring you observations in word and image from correspondents of differing nationalities who witnessed protests in Brighton, England, and in Los Angeles and Paris. Their reports remind us that protests over police violence have been a worldwide story taking place in the midst of a pandemic, an event that—as our View From a Pandemic series shows—has tied humanity together in a common struggle. Together we are humans combatting a microscopic virus as well as jointly fighting the universal disease of prejudice against people who are different from us.

View From a Pandemic: A Kids’-Eye View

TEXT AND IMAGES BY KIDS AND THEIR RESPECTIVE PARENTS

Kids, too, have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, so we’re happy to add their voices to our View From a Pandemic series. Meet four American kids, all 10 or 11 years old, who have experienced various forms of lockdown from perches all around the world. In June and July they took the time to write about it for us.

View From a Pandemic: Concern for People Back Home

AUDIO AND VIDEO PRODUCTION BY MAHBOOB FAIZI
INTERVIEW BY KAMI L. RICE

Mahboob Faizi, a member of the Anthrow Circus family, reached out to me in April looking to fashion a story about his concern over how people back home in Afghanistan would be able to weather the health and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. From his current home in Greece, he was feeling rather powerless to know how to help them. Over the months that followed, I interviewed him and helped shape the account we present here. Mahboob, who works in media production for a nonprofit organization, recorded our audio, supplied images, and did the production work.

A Circus Where Least Expected

TEXT BY DANIELLE B.
VIDEO BY KAMI L. RICE

When people learn that I’ve recently moved to Kabul, their first question is usually, “What is it like?”

How do I describe a city filled with such contrasts and contradictions? Exquisite rose gardens bloom behind walls edged with razor wire, guarded by Kalashnikov-toting private security.

View From a Pandemic: Weathering the Storm in Nigeria

TEXT BY SARATU O. SAMANDE, ESQ.
STREET PHOTOGRAPHS AND CAPTIONS BY DESMOND OKON

A Nigerian teenager hawking masks in traffic. Mask hawkers have become a common sight in Nigeria. Since the mandatory wearing of the face cover was announced by the government, many Nigerians survive by selling masks.

View From a Pandemic: Pet Adoption in Nashville, USA

TEXT BY LAURA CHAVARRIA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NASHVILLE HUMANE ASSOCIATION

Animal sheltering can be difficult, y’all.

But it’s also one of the most fulfilling careers on the face of the planet. Who wouldn’t want to play with puppies and kitties all day and be the voice for the voiceless? (True confessions: Cuddling the animals is just one little part of our jobs at Nashville Humane Association!)