Writers seek solidarity in lockdowns

Surviving lockdown isn’t easy, but some Western Sydney writers believe reading the stories of people from diverse backgrounds can help overcome isolation.
A man with crossed arms and face mask stands in front of a road with a mosque in the background

In Stay Safe, poet Omar Sakr captures his Western Sydney suburb in the midst of COVID-19 lockdowns writing ‘the coughing cops and the coughing churches and the coughing magpies and the coughing tanks,’ forming striking pictures of suburban surveillance in these times.

Commissioned by western Sydney’s I.C.E (Information and Cultural Exchange), Sakr’s poems Masks Off and Stay Safe contain allusions to the darker side of COVID lockdowns that doesn’t often make the news.

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ArtsHub's Arts Feature Writer Jo Pickup is based in Perth. An arts writer and manager, she has worked as a journalist and broadcaster for media such as the ABC, RTRFM and The West Australian newspaper, contributing media content and commentary on art, culture and design. She has also worked for arts organisations such as Fremantle Arts Centre, STRUT dance, and the Aboriginal Arts Centre Hub of WA, as well as being a sessional arts lecturer at The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).

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