ON PAUSE: Three Months that Changed New York is based on Charlie Bennet's photographs taken during the New York City lockdown in the spring of 2020, and created in collaboration with writer Helena Gustavsson and art director Jon Palmqvist. The book started out as a Kickstarter project and was published by Winifred Publishing.
ON PAUSE includes in-depth interviews with New Yorkers who experienced the shutdown in different ways. Here are a couple of passages and portraits:
“In the beginning we heard gossip about COVID hitting DC. But everybody was in denial and there was no real preparation. 'It could never hit us. New York would make sure we are good, especially Transit'. When we lost our first five brothers and sisters, it was devastating. People died of COVID in our own department. 'It’s here, what do we do?"
- Icelean Scales, train operator at MTA New York City Transit
“At the very beginning of COVID my grandmother died. She was the most important person in my life who raised me and I wasn’t allowed to go back to say goodbye to her. Had I left I wouldn't have been able to come back home to the States because of the huge lockdown. So I wasn't there for her last hours and not until six months later could I go home and bury her."
- Selma Slabiak-Casner, barkeep at Selma’s Bar in Ridgewood, Queens
ON PAUSE also looks back at all the things that changed during 2020. Well-known products became sought after valuables, and a new garment made a grand entrance. And in spite of the pandemic, life also continued in New York City. People took the train, biked to work, socialized, went on job interviews, played with their kids, and fell in love. Interactions between people moved online or outdoors, whether it was a cocktails with friends, workout sessions, or protests against social injustices. New York and its people suffered but also adapted.
IS THIS A PHOTO BOOK?
– Yes, but it also contains interviews with New Yorkers and a lot of interesting information
about how New York dealt with the pandemic.
IF I ORDER IT NOW, WHEN WILL I RECEIVE THE BOOK?
– The book is available to order and typically ships within 3-5 days depending on where it's been ordered. It's available here, on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound and in many independent bookstores.
WHICH LANGUAGES IS THE BOOK AVAILABLE IN?
– So far, the book is available in English and in Swedish.
WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE?
Charlie Bennet was born in Sweden, but has lived in Manhattan for the last 10 years. He is a still life and lifestyle photographer working with editorial and advertising clients such as The New York Times, Nike and Wallpaper. Charlie has published five books prior to ON PAUSE with publishers such as Rizzoli and teNeues, and has exhibited his work both in the United States and Europe. Charlie loves to take walks with his dog "Winnie". Charlie is the founder of Winifred Publishing. charliebennet.com
Helena Gustavsson is a Swedish journalist based in New York. She reports mainly for Swedish media on politics, social issues, and arts & culture. Helena has covered two presidential elections and profiled a number of U.S.-based authors, including Salman Rushdie, Siri Hustvedt and Colson Whitehead, to name a few. She has written several pieces on how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted America and has also interviewed “Sweden’s Dr. Fauci,” Anders Tegnell. Outside of work she is an American National Champion in team handball. helenagustavsson.se
Jon Palmqvist is a Senior Art Director and Graphic Designer at the Jung von Matt advertising agency in