Athena, Joe, Jakob, and Yamel

A young family enjoys their back yard: a girl in a red dress on a bicyle and a man in a marron button down are both seated on children's bicyles donning a snarling expression. The man wears sunglasses while a woman in a dark shirt with laced sleeves and curly hair rests her arm around a toddler with short curly hair drinking juice.

Joe: “It’s a terrible situation, so many people dying. The silver lining is less pollution, nuclear families staying closer (though that has its own stress). I know I’ve grown closer to my own family from being at home all the time.”

Yamel: “I work at a hospital. Social distancing is already changing how we do our work. What we do is not as personal any more. It’s becoming more robotic, patients don’t have a familiar face to look at… Despite the good effects on many families, the pandemic is also changing the social fabric for the worse.”

Audio Transcript

My name is Joe Patterson and I’ve lived in Lexington for about 12 years.

The America I wanna live in is one where civil discourse about politics is not taboo. I understand why it is. Because it’s deeply personal and often affects us in different ways. Some say they don’t care about it, but I don’t buy it. Everyone has opinions. They’re just uncomfortable discussing it in public. They may be afraid of upsetting someone, losing a friend, or even being attacked.

This lack of discourse on politics creates people who are uninformed though as many issues are important yet complex. More civil discourse would educate the public and help us elect better leaders, weeding out the rude candidates in the process. Politics is currently the primary source of tension in our country and civil discourse would help us break through, create more empathy, and unite people.

Lexington in the Time of COVID-19 is an artwork about people practicing social distancing at a time of a deadly virus. And also offering kindness.

Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova capture photographs at the periphery of American culture, where drag queens, discarded couches, and abandoned motel signs exist.