March 2020: renowned photographer Alistair Morrison awoke, like millions of others, to pandemic lockdown. Faced with the prospect of long-term isolation, he found the only way possible to continue his work: through his computer screen.
Time to Pause began, documenting diverse individuals during the pandemic, and exploring their emotions, fears and aspirations. Morrison would host 1,000 Time to Pause sessions over Zoom- 9 1/2-minute conversations followed by a 30-second portrait sitting. It soon became obvious that he was not merely capturing sitters' images, Alistair was engaging the emotions of strangers from 100+ countries, all living under very different circumstances but connected by the same moment in time, and their humanity.
These stories needed to be shared.
Working in collaboration with the NGOs Global Dignity, Friendship and the Hope Foundation, impact and reach expanded through a series of virtual livestreams, Dignified Conversations, where Time to Pause participants met and supported one another, growing a family feeling of belonging.
February 2021: Time to Pause, a documentary created from Alistair's interview footage and portraits, premiered at the G̦teborg Film Festival.
And in the end, one thousand people in isolation came to know that they were never actually alone.
Through continued collaboration with Global Dignity, and multiple participant affiliations, the numbers continue to grow. There was no budget; Morrison spent £15/month on internet costs. The power of this campaign is that it was driven entirely through volunteers: humans who believed in supporting the one thing we could control: our ability to heal each other.