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Little Faces Big Feelings is a poignant photographic collection documenting and highlighting the profound impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on children and young people worldwide - and it's showing at Library of Birmingham until 29 June.

The project, spearheaded by documentary photographer Maria Reaney, brings together 16 artists from internationally diverse backgrounds to shed light on the social and emotional challenges faced by children during lockdowns and thereafter.

The world had predominantly been shut down and there were no opportunities to photograph in the public domain so Maria turned her lens onto her children and home life. The long slow days meant she trawled Instagram like never before, bonding with numerous artists all over the world. This historic, and pivotal time, was hugely significant to humanity and compelled Maria to reach out to photographers in order to collate a grassroots collection. Maria's immense passion for history and phycology meant she  gathered images together which both celebrated and documented the highs and lows of this incarceration in our homes. 

Through a genuine and authentic female lens, the images capture the experiences and stories of young people navigating a disrupted world. From the closure of schools and public spaces to the upheaval of daily routines, the photographs reflect a spectrum of emotions—boredom, longing, contemplation, playfulness, curiosity, and frustration. In a time marked by unprecedented mental health challenges for children, this collection becomes a powerful historical document, highlighting the emotional toll of the pandemic.

The project aims to not only foster compassion and understanding for mental health but also to spark essential conversations and empathy around our feelings and emotions. The human race are social creatures and once that critical requirement for growth is taken away our minds and bodies crave interaction, love and support. As the legendary Birmingham poet, the late Benjamin Zephaniah stated, “People need people”.

For more information, click here.