Photographer captures community lifelines in Hackney during Covid pandemic
- Credit: Grey Hutton
A local photographer has been capturing Hackney organisations and people looking out for each other during the coronavirus pandemic.
Grey Hutton’s Community Lifelines project began during the first lockdown when he started shooting portraits of mutual aid volunteers and members of grassroots community groups in the borough.
As he delved deeper, he uncovered a vast and diverse network of assistance, community foodbanks and services ensuring people in need in Hackney did not go hungry, without care or support.
Grey told the Gazette: “A lot of the people were doing this before [the pandemic], but I think everyone has had to upscale to a mass extent, slightly adjust or alter what they were doing to meet the needs for people they are helping out.
“It’s quite admirable the way people have just kind of got to it.”
The project has taken Grey across Hackney, where he documented the support given to diverse communities hit hard by coronavirus.
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“The most amazing thing about these organisations is that they are there for everyone, they are so inclusive. There are all sorts of people from different backgrounds and ethnicities all helping each other and coming together. It’s a heart-warming story and one of a lot of struggle,” Grey said.
He hopes the project will highlight the support available and volunteers putting in “a huge amount of time".
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The photographer added: “There are also these incredible strong protagonists at the centre of all these organisations and a lot of them have been doing this for a long time and are really well established within their communities.
“So I applied for funding from National Geographic, who had a grant for journalists covering Covid-19 within their community, and it got accepted.”
Grey moved to Hackney in 2019 after living in Berlin, Germany, for almost a decade.
He plans to take photos of more volunteers and community groups as well as those affected by the pandemic.
The photographer hopes to organise an outside exhibition in the borough with Hackney Council's help.
The Hackney Gazette has teamed up with photographer Grey Hutton to tell the stories of organisations and people photographed over the coming weeks.
The first to be featured in this weekly series will be Hackney charity Children With Voices.
To learn more, visit www.greyhutton.com