Have You Ever Seen London Stand so Silent?

The world will not easily forget how fast our major cities became empty and silent. It's a sight that we hadn't previously experienced but it's something that we are lucky to be able to look back on when things begin to change again and the memory of empty streets begins to fade. 

London has always held a certain magic for me as a irregular visitor. There are so many corners left yet to explore and there's always up and coming neighborhoods offering you a fusion of food, arts, culture or architecture. I've found myself losing track of time wandering through different streets but one thing is certain. It has never stood still and it has never stopped going forward. That's why I enjoy London in small doses — it can become too overwhelming, too many colors and sounds that eventually numb you.

Photographer and film maker Jordan Banks has created a visual journey into lockdown London. It is an eerie but beautiful insight in parts of London that are usually full of tourists and local just getting on with their day, maneuvering through the crowds that stop and take photos of sights around them. If you are familiar with this city, you will quickly recognize the locations but it certainly is odd seeing them so quiet and peaceful. 

Although as a response to a terrible worldwide situation, seeing such large urban spaces empty is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our generations. It is bound to make you question the relationship we have had with our environment up to now and how we might alter our attitudes and actions going forward to return to some kind of normalcy, whatever that might entail for us and the next generations. 

If you want to see more of Banks' photographic and film work, you can visit his website or his Instagram.

How do you feel about seeing large cities empty? Does it raise any questions or thoughts in you?

Lead image used with the permission of Jordan Banks.

Anete Lusina's picture

Anete Lusina is a photographer based in West Yorkshire, UK. You'll either find her shooting weddings, documentary, or street photography across the U.K. and Europe, or perhaps doing the occasional conceptual shoot.

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That felt profoundly sad to me, which I didn't expect.

I think the music really added to the mood, gives me shivers when I put my headphones and watch it!

Interesting idea but the execution is really lacking. If one wants to show a place void of people, then avoid that odd pedestrian walking past or even the cyclists. Frame up a nice shot and hold it there STEADILY. The camera is so noticeable in many of the shots and that detracts from the experience. And I really do not need to see the signs of shops, etc...they just do not add anything to the film.

It's not a rant here but I see an idea and if Jordan is a filmmaker then he needs the feedback to make the next film better.

I go to London quite a bit and it's not overly difficult to take photos of empty streets. I take them at night when most streets are desolate and especially on Sunday mornings in the business district, it's not that hard. These are from the winter of '16 and '18. I've got lots more.

28 Days Later