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Discarded: an installation in remembrance of BAME frontline workers

St John's Church, which re-opened its doors* on Monday, 15th June for a few hours everyday for quiet prayer, is hosting an installation by artist Lindy Furby reflecting on the treatment of BAME people during the coronavirus pandemic in the UK. All are welcome to visit.

This installation consists of 50 prints of facemasks with images of named** Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) individuals who have contracted coronavirus working in frontline services such as the NHS, care homes, shops and buses and who have died as a result. These are combined with a further 10 facemasks with ‘I can’t breathe’ printed across them.

Lady Chapel, St John's Waterloo

The prints are scattered on the floor as if they had been discarded, reflecting the insufficient attention given to providing PPE for frontline workers and the failure of the Government to respond sooner to the fact that BAME staff were dying in disproportionately high numbers. The setting up of this installation in the Lady Chapel is intended to encourage those engaging in prayer and reflection to honour the memories of these heroes.

About the artist

Lindy Furby is an artist, working mostly on landscape, and a printmaker based in Edinburgh and a member of Edinburgh Printmakers. She remembers fondly her stay in Waterloo when she had her first job as a primary school teacher in Brixton, aged 21. She later moved to Bradford to continue working in education and now lives in Edinburgh. Lindy writes to us:

"At the start of the coronavirus crisis in the UK, I became aware very quickly that BAME people in the NHS had unfeasibly high fatality rates. I subsequently discovered this was also true for other frontline workers, e.g. bus drivers, care assistants and taxi drivers. Since the Edinburgh Printmakers is closed due to the current pandemic,I made the plates at home and printed them on my dining room table with a small die-cutting press.
Each facemask is a hand printed collagraph/drypoint print (30cmx11cm). To obtain these prints I made an acrylic drypoint plate of the person on acrylic. This has been a truly sombre process... I am absolutely aware that these are not statistics, but each name represents a person who will be sorely grieved by their families and friends. I inked the plate with black ink and burnished it clean. At the same time I rolled blue ink onto a facemask, I placed the face drypoint plate on top of the facemask plate and put dampened paper on them both. Finally, I put it through the press."

*St John's Waterloo is now open Monday to Friday between 12pm and 2pm.

**All the images and names were taken from the public domain – most of them from articles in The Guardian written by Sarah Marsh. In memory of:

  • Abdul Gellaledin, Ambulance Care Assistant

  • Abdul Mabud, Chowdhury Doctor

  • Ade Raymond, Heathcare assistant and student nurse

  • Alfa Sa’adu, Doctor

  • Alice Kit Takong, Nurse

  • Amarente Dias, Endoscopy decontamination technician

  • Amor Gatineo, Nurse

  • Andrew Nwankwo, Nurse

  • Areema Nasreen, Nurse

  • Ben Quinn, shopkeeper

  • Carole Jamabo, Careworker

  • Cecilia Fashanu, Nurse

  • Charles Kwami Tanor, Healthcare worker

  • Dawn Marshall, Support time recovery worker

  • Donald Suelto, Nurse

  • Elbert Rico, Hospital Porter

  • Elsie Sazusa, Nurse

  • Eric Labeja-Acellam, Consultant

  • Esther Akinsaya, Nurse

  • Gladys Nyemba, Nurse

  • Glen Corbin, Health care assistant

  • Jane Mary Jongwe, Nurse

  • Jitendra Rathod, Doctor

  • Josiane Ekoli, Nurse

  • Julie Edward, Nurse

  • Juliet Alder, Health care assistant

  • Kamlesh Massan, GP

  • Karamat Mirza, GP

  • Khulisini Nkala, Nurse

  • Lalaine Lopez Pesario, Nurse

  • Leilani Dayrit, Nurse

  • Leilani Medel, Nurse

  • Lillian Mudzivare, Nurse

  • Lourdes Campbell, Care Assistant

  • Mahadaye Jagroop, Nurse

  • Manjeet Singh Ryat, Consultant

  • Mary Agyapong, Pregnant nurse – baby survived

  • Maureen Ellington, Care worker

  • Michael Allieu, Nurse

  • Mohammed Nelman, Bus driver

  • Nadir Nur, Bus driver

  • Nasir Kahan, Doctor

  • Oscar King, Porter

  • Peter Tun, Doctor

  • Poornina Nair, GP

  • Rahima Sidhanee, Care worker

  • Ruben Munoz, Nurse

  • Thomas Harvey, Nurse

  • Trevor Belle, Taxi driver

  • Vishnu Rasiah, Consultant

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