A collective of visuals directed and photographed by Henry R. Jones II featuring his son Malik Jones.
Kid’s Land, with emphasis on “DND” do not disturb, is a visual series inspired by the feelings my son expressed while being on restrictions due to the rapid spread of the Coronavirus. As schools close, parks limit access, and family gathers must be restricted to 10 people socializing has all but ceased. Our kids face days of seclusion away from the classmates they grew to love, teachers that showered them with knowledge and playing outside just doesn’t feel normal. In a world where outside is closed and the ideas associated with contracting the virus are rampant, even masking the faces of the healthy can’t protect them from the diminishing effects of distancing in the midst of their introduction to grade level social development. Sit back as the visuals carry you, enjoy and God bless.
Moments after the Governor announced the closing of schools for the rest of the year, minutes after the happiness of not having to wake up for school, no more lunchables, no more tests, and lunchables? A thing of the past... my son paused and says,”Wait so this means I won’t see my friends anymore huh?” it hit me. It was a stale reminder of the last day of school, yes there was some excitement but, my friends, my classmates, it was like missing the chance to write in your best friends yearbook,”See you soon” on the last day of school. That hit and stuck... THAT feeling brought forth imagery and an idea was born. In the picture above my son is pictured in his school uniform, safe guarded by face mask.
“I mean it’s not too bad at least I can play outside with my friends here...” the relief in this statement gave me chills. As a father it was a moment to teach and feel right alongside my son as I begin to explain to him that,”outside is closed.” Many of our nieghbors have been living here just as long as we have if not longer, so the bond between the kids is strong. Built on long days in the courtyard in and out of each other’s apartments, running to the ice cream truck, the landlord bringing out toys for them to play, and let’s not forget the many birthday parties held right below our window panes. All postponed now, we take walks, we plan games for inside now, each kid left with their imagination after the video games and YouTube run their course. The outside was a great escape, but now it’s closed, closed for now with now room for skateboarding in home, no grass to lay in and look up at the planes passing over, no more, no more for now.
All any of us can do is wait, the things we want restored will be back before we know it, the outings, eating amongst friends, anxiously sitting in a movie theater as the room goes dark. Right now the world is our theater, as dark as it may appear we must endure the preview until the final screen closes out, where this visual will take us and what feeling it will leave us with is up to us. Let’s be sure to embrace the youth who have not sat through a time like this, the kids who may not understand, for now it maybe ours but in the future we are all in kids land... do not disturb it further.