Lockdown Landscapes Accessibility Page

This an online version of the outdoor sound installation ‘Lockdown Landscapes’ by artist Tasawar Bashir, produced in partnership with Sampad South Asian Arts and Heritage and the National Memorial Arboretum.



Sensitivity warning: this piece contains themes of grief and loss.

It was Easter Sunday during lockdown.

Shebina was at her mother’s side in hospital,

when she died. At that time, visiting a loved

one in hospital was restricted and in a

bittersweet recollection Shebina felt she

was “one of the lucky ones.”

Lockdown was a most challenging time in

her life; in the midst of grief, she took time o_

work to protect her mental health. Shebina was

always the rock for everyone but through those

dark times her family and her faith played a

massive part in her recovery.

Family walks in Warley Woods lifted her

lethargy, in Calthorpe Park a quince tree

brought lightness to the grieving process, and

team-building sessions with fellow community

charity workers in Cannon Hill Park inspired her

to realise; “I have to be with people, I want to

be with people, we are better together, we’re

stronger together as a community”.


Television producer Kamal was really

worried. He had been amongst 54,000

hysterical football fans who had just

witnessed Liverpool get knocked out of the

Champion’s League competition by Atletico

Madrid. Driving back home along the M6 he

remembers someone coughing. Had it been

wise for so many people to congregate

when there was news of a disease killing

scores of older people in northern Italy?

At home Kamal was the sole carer for his

octogenarian mother. The news would later

emerge that South Asians, especially Bengali

elders, were in the highest risk category for

Covid-19. When his mother did fall ill and was

admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kamal

thought he was seeing her for the last time.

Walking outdoors he found

some neglected goalkeeper

posts in a field next to

Moseley Bog – J. R. R. Tolkien’s

stomping ground and

inspiration for his books.

A brand new set of yellow

TRX exercise cables were hung

over the rickety goalposts, and

for three months while his mother

made a slow recovery Kamal and

his best friend enjoyed dawn workouts

in the mystical surroundings.


During lockdown Lara became a food bank

volunteer and delivery driver, helping families

and individuals the system had forgotten who

had no access to furlough or emergency

money. Her realisation was quick; for the sake

of the people she was helping, it was vital for

she herself to keep sane.

Food parcel drops became increasingly

regular, allowing tentative friendships to form

over weeks and months. Mundane

conversations such as when visiting a

hairdresser were now given unexpected

gravitas. Nothing beat quality time chatting

nonsense with a best mate, enjoying long

meandering walks across the streets and

fields of King’s Norton, or along the Route Five

canal paths when an encounter with a heron

felt like an epiphany.


When lockdown was announced the first

thing that occurred to Ibrahim was to

read philosophy books that had been

gathering dust in his apartment.

The list of authors was daunting;

Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida and

Albert Camus amongst others.

Lockdown gave Ibraheem permission

to take things at a slower pace and reflect

on big questions about the meaning of life.

Very quickly he realised the books were

dense, unwieldy and difficult. Instead

YouTube became his teacher, and he spent

many long hours learning about biblical

history and Quantum Theory.

When restrictions were lifted Ibraheem

craved to be around other people – but not

too close. Nearby to where he lived,

numerous co_ee shops and sheesha

lounges located on Stratford Road offered

the perfect balance of being around other

human beings whilst still immersed in

private thoughts and reflections.


The Smith and Nephew factory on

Ludlow Road in Birmingham was previously

known as Southalls, and earlier still as

Charford Mill. During the 1980s it became

a mosque that was built with money

donated by Kashmiris who worked in local

warehouses, foundries, and bakeries.

Khalid couldn’t remember even a single

day when the mosque was closed. Just

before the first light each morning he

would take a short walk from his home

to join a small group of men who would

form a close-knit line, face the direction of

Mecca and collectively perform the fajr

prayer – the first of five daily prayers. This

had been his routine for around forty years.

It usually takes war or pestilence to

close the doors of a mosque, and it

was a double-shock to the community

when collective funeral prayers

couldn’t be performed for elders who

died from Covid-19. A sacred space

meant for bringing people together

became another reminder of people’s

isolation from each other.