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Portraits of a pandemic – ‘Pandemic Strolls Bangor’

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Portraits of a pandemic – ‘Pandemic Strolls Bangor’ (photo by Sean Faircloth)

BANGOR – As of this moment, we here in Bangor – along with people across the globe – continue to deal with the circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic. That said, as difficult as it might be to comprehend right now, it will eventually end. Even now, we are getting glimpses of hope, hints at a possible light at the end of this long tunnel. COVID-19 will become a tragic memory.

And we should remember.

That’s what Sean Faircloth has tried to do with “Pandemic Strolls Bangor: One City in the Year of Covid.” From the early, confusing days of March through the long summer and into the autumn, Faircloth walked the streets of Bangor every day, taking pictures of what he saw. The end result is a visual documentation of some of what our city experienced over these too-long months.

Every photo in this book was taken within the city limits of Bangor. There was no specific intent initially; Faircloth was simply walking around town in an effort to escape the confines of home, to get out into the open air and engage in a little exercise. Along the way, he started taking photos; gradually, these photos coalesced into something more – this project.

In the preface, Faircloth discusses the importance of memory and wonders how exactly this time will be remembered in the years and decades to come. How will our perception of what was be altered by what is to come? These photos – this book – is an effort to codify and record the moment in the moment, capturing a snapshot of this unique time and place.

Now, these photos run the gamut. Many of them are lovely portraits of togetherness and tenderness, but not all of them. There are some that offer a much bleaker look at the world in which we live, taken from angles that not all of us get the chance to see. That dichotomy is part of the package; two sides of the same coin. There’s beauty here, yes, but there’s also struggle. By including both, Faircloth has given us an honest perspective on his city.

Regardless, it’s a record. A chance to be reminded. And sure, we may not want to be reminded of all of this anytime soon, but there may come a time when the currency of it all has faded and we need to show ourselves what it looked like in the moment.

Faircloth would be the first to tell you that he isn’t a professional photographer, but this isn’t about perfect lighting or framing or composition (though he does capture some striking images). This is about conveying feeling, the spirit of the time, and in that respect, he definitely succeeds.

All proceeds from the sale of the book will go to benefit Together Place Peer Run Recovery Center, an organization whose important work has been significantly impacted – financially and otherwise – by the pandemic. Copies cost $20 and will be available for purchase at a number of area establishments. However, that isn’t the only way to procure your copy. Committing to a monthly donation of $10 for Together Place gets you a book. A donation of $15 gets you two, $20 three. On and on up to a $50 monthly commitment that will land you nine copies of the book, a wonderful gift for anyone who loves this town.

“Pandemic Strolls Bangor” is a record of a time that we might hope to forget. But within these pages is a representation of our city’s determination. We all have our highs and lows, our triumphs and tragedies; we always have, though they may feel heightened by the current moment. And again, it’s an opportunity to support one of Bangor’s important organizations. A purchase of this book will help someone, and now more than ever, we should all be looking for ways to help.

(For more information about “Pandemic Strolls Bangor” or about Together Place Peer Run Recovery Center, visit www.togetherplace.org.)

Last modified on Wednesday, 25 November 2020 08:06

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