The Biscuit and The Charlotte Ledger have partnered up to present our hoto series, “Visions of the Not Normal” — offering views of neighborhoods and communities across the city through the eyes (and lenses) of local photographers during the COVID-19 outbreak.
This week, we’re featuring photographer Kayden Hunt. Kayden recently graduated from Ardrey Kell High School where she served as student body president. She’ll be attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill this fall. After graduation, Kayden painted the rock in front of her school with “Black Lives Matter” and the names of individuals killed by police, like George Floyd. It was immediately vandalized; the names painted on the rock crossed out and more. Kayden responded by organizing more than 100 students to restore the rock and add the message “Hate Will Never Win.”
This week she shares photographs she took of her home, the Ballantyne community, under the uncertainty of COVID-19.
“As we look into this series, you’ll see the impacts of COVID-19 through my lens, literally and figuratively. Throughout the pandemic, my community attempts to make efforts to come together in times where we have to socially distance ourselves,” said Kayden.
“Ballantyne has many divisions economically, racially and structurally,” she said. “But when push comes to shove, we have to work together to uphold the safety of our community members. ‘The Ballantyne Bubble’ has to burst to fully contribute and give back to Charlotte to build bridges between communities in efforts to effectively eliminate our health crisis.
“Wearing masks, using hand sanitizer, keeping a social distance and staying inside are an important part of doing so,” said Kayden. “Quarantine felt as if time stopped. Where commitments were drawn back and responsibility shifted towards keeping the people around you healthy. Now, in phase two, it is necessary to take precautions seriously to ensure we don’t regress back into quarantine or risk any more lives. Here is how my community advocates for more efficient responses to COVID-19.”
Learn More about Kayden Hunt
INSTAGRAM | Tip Kayden with Venmo: @KaydenHunt
Kayden’s Visions of Charlotte
What Inspires Kayden
“Conversations and sharing perspectives peak my curiosity because of what they can bring to the table. Empathy is the ability to understand others and their feelings. I believe cultivating this entity is the key to building bridges into a more accepting world. Using my camera and sharing stories is how I want to contribute to that effort.
Empathy is taught and built upon, meaning social education is our way in. I firmly believe with the help of healthy activism and advocation, we can create accepting and vocal leaders. We must teach kids ‘to use their superpowers for good,’ one of my dad’s many sayings. Social education goes a long way, yet it isn’t talked about enough. Encouraging and developing our future generations is the way towards the progress we so desperately need and it all starts with a conversation…or in my case, a photo.”
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