Emily Schiffer is a photographer and mixed media artist interested in the intersection between art, community engagement, and social change. She is a Co-founder and Creative Director of We, Women , the largest social impact photography...
Focus:Photographer, Photojournalist, Street Art
Skills:Digital Printing, Film Scanning, Book Layout/Design, Photo Editing, Black & White Printing, Mixed Media, Curating, Exhibition Design, Multimedia Production, Photojournalism, Sculpting
March 27, 2020: Quarantined on our stoop, Lola watches her friends on bikes ride by. Yesterday she was allowed to pass a soccer ball with the other kids. Today news of friends with the virus coupled with a new tightness in my chest prompts me to take extra precautions. I've changed the rules again, and inconsistency makes things harder.
April 2, 2020: After bickering over schoolwork neither of us wants to do, Lola releases pent up energy. Ambulance sirens blare outside. They have been non-stop for weeks. I am grappling with the instability and anxiety these days hold, and decide in this moment to forgo phonics and math in favor of just about anything that sparks joy.
April 7, 2020: The children amuse themselves while Thierry does the dishes. I drink coffee and think about the social impact of the virus flattening so many people physically, emotionally, financially.
May 5, 2020: When I was little my grandmother would lay me across her kitchen counter to wash my hair. It was special. Today we need special. I clear off the counter, and it works. Lola says sink washes turn her hair into a waterfall.
July 5, 2020: Having always known he wanted to be a father, Thierry’s parenthood is filled with a lifetime of anticipation. His calm and gentle demeanor has kept our family rooted through the uncertainty of this time. But the threat of the virus also awakened us to how easily life can unravel. Protective of our inner world, we take fewer risks than our friends and neighbors. We are getting used to disappointing them.
March 12, 2021: Lola's questions often surface at bedtime. She wants to know why. Why do people hate? How and when did racism start? Did it start with one person? How did it spread? Did anyone at the beginning try to stop it? Why couldn’t they stop it? Why? I answer honestly. She is a child, so I follow her lead--allowing her to interrupt with thoughts about slime, or plans to build a birdhouse with the recycling. She asks if we are safe, if interracial marriage could become illegal again, and whether we have a plan if it does. Shortly after George Floyd’s murder, Lola and her best friend decided to “do an NPR piece” asking adults about racism. They want so badly to understand. When they hit the block with their recorders, they found adults as hungry as they are for answers.
April 24, 2020: Today Amal turned 6. Four families on the block come out with signs for a socially distanced rendition of happy birthday. Afterwards the kids gleefully jump in puddles. I’ve lost track of how long it’s been since we went out front. Needless to say it is the highlight of our lockdown. So much has changed since the beginning of the pandemic. Most of us have lost people we love and the kids no longer need reminding to stay far apart.
May 14, 2020: Lola’s best friend Léa, who lives down the block, turned 9 today. Today I also learned that my 96 year-old grandfather passed away from Covid-19 complications. Léa has been giving Lola piano lessons via Zoom, so we brought the keyboard to Léa’s stoop and Lola gave a birthday performance. The girls’ sweetness and resilience strikes me particularly hard today as I navigate the grief and anger of my grandfather’s loss.