Under the Rainbow: Voices from Lockdown
‘It is always a worthwhile ambition to get through a project like this without being punched.’
Writer and urban explorer Attlee reads the signs and messages appearing in British windows during the pandemic, and interviews the people who made them.
As Britain entered lockdown in the spring of 2020, drawings, paintings and messages proliferated in windows and gardens across the country: signs of the eternal human desire to communicate, even as face-to-face contact became impossible. When restrictions temporarily eased, writer James Attlee began ringing doorbells in his hometown of Oxford. On doorsteps and park benches, on council estates and amid genteel terraces, he recorded the voices of those briefly emerging from isolation, winning the trust of rainbow painters and anti-vaxxers, a Covid nurse, an LGBTQ+ artist, a VE Day celebrator, Black Lives Matter protesters, as well as frontline workers in a bakery and a supermarket.
Their words, Attlee’s pithy observations and sixteen pages of his photographs make Under the Rainbow a unique record of an extraordinary year, and a tribute to creativity and resilience in desperate times.