For details of how to buy this book, go here: The Working Class Collective
March 2020 will be a month to remember for a long time to come. It was the month that the country was put into lockddown in a bid to contain Covid. During the early weeks of lockdown when none of us knew a lot about the virus, there was a real climate of fear. Scepticism about Covid didn’t really start emerging until May when it grew and started to fuel the anti-lockdown movement.
Lockdown Diaries of the Working Class mainly covers the month of April 2020. It is a snapshot in time. We all experienced the early part of lockdown in our own ways with varying levels of fear, isolation, sadness and anger amongst other emotions. We all have our own stories to tell of that period.
Reading through the Lockdown Diaries brought back a lot of memories of that period for us, some of which to be honest, were pretty painful. What the Lockdown Diaries does is bring to life the experiences of a range of working class people and how they coped, or tried to cope, with the sense of fear and the surreal weirdness that was around at the time.
What was interesting about it is the way it threw light on the different ways people understood the crisis. For us with our sceptical analysis of the way Covid was weaponised to implement and accelerate a lot of changes that come under the heading of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, reading these different perspectives was useful in helping us better understand what was happening at that point.
After reading the Lockdown Diaries, to put the experiences of the contributors to this project into some kind of context, we recommend that you read this book as well: A State of Fear – Laura Dodsworth.
At some point, the powers that be will want to fix the narrative of what happened with Covid. They’re already trying and from what we can gather, they’re running into a growing level of resistance. What is vital is that somehow, the experiences of working class people end up forming a significant part of the narrative. Lockdown Diaries is a superb and welcome contribution to making that happen.
Lockdown Diaries is an example of what working class people can put together when the motivation is there. It’s a collective, grassroots effort from the contributors to the diaries, the amazing illustrators, and the designers and typographers who put the book together. Publication was only possible because of the hundreds of working class people who put their hands into their pockets to donate money to cover the costs of paying the illustrators and designers, the printing and the distribution. It shows that we can bypass the big publishing houses and do it ourselves.
We’d like to think that working on Lockdown Diaries, whether as a contributor or as one of the illustrators, was an empowering experience for all of those involved in the project. It’s through that sense of empowerment and the confidence it brings that we can become more ambitious and really start to challenge the power structures that screw us over on a daily basis.