When COVID-19 hit the Victorian capital Melbourne in a big way earlier in 2020, it had a dramatic impact on the lives of Melburnians.
Belinda Jackson, one of our esteemed storytellers lived through the lockdown. Although it was tough, a conversation over the back fence with her neighbour, portrait photographer Jude van Daalen, led to the idea for a book about how various people coped with the restrictions and stress of being in lockdown.
The result is their book Together Apart.
Together Apart illustrates through images and words the experience of isolation for a whole range of people. The two women took the photographs, wrote the stories, designed the book and, finally, saw the pages off the presses.
Jude had to shut her photographic studio down for seven months. Belinda had several media trips cancelled and an exciting trip to an exotic destination morphed into a visit to the local shops to stock up on essentials.
Jude and Belinda photographed and wrote stories about people in their neighbourhood. They discovered that Melburnians are stoic, strong and were able to cope as best as they possibly could with the pandemic.
Together Apart is the story of a community that was kept apart by circumstances, one which thrived through determination. It tells the story of individuals, families and businesses, and is a true story of survival.