In March, ICP commissioned five photographers based in various parts of New York to make work in response to the COVID-19 crisis. They are Yuki Iwamura, Sarah Blesener, Jeenah Moon, Gaia Squarci, and Jeff Mermelstein. Although they are from very different cultural backgrounds, all are alumni of ICP’s One-Year Certificate Programs. They worked through the month of April, when the virus was at its initial peak in the city.
Each photographer’s experience was different, and each made a distinctive approach. The results include reportage, image-text storytelling, autobiography, fiction, and street photography. The restrictions under which they worked were severe, but restrictions often motivate image makers to be resourceful, to find new means of expression. Breaking with expectations of themselves and the medium, they experimented in pursuit of visual strategies to shed important light upon what the people of the city endured that month.