May 18, 2020

Season 1 trailer: Welcome to A New Normal

Season 1 trailer: Welcome to A New Normal

What do you do when a pandemic brings life as you know it to a screeching halt? In quarantine, with travel on hold, photographer and storyteller Kelley Lynch, finds a new normal at home and ropes her two best friends—one in Washington, DC and the other in Bangladesh—into starting a podcast. Join hosts Kelley Lynch, Cindy Sealls and Obaidul Fattah Tanvir as they talk with people from around the world about adapting to life during the pandemic and where we go from here. New episodes every week starting May 27. 


Kelley Lynch: So , uh, I talked to Tom. Tom is my podcast coach--this is how newbie we are. I have to talk to my son, how do I do this? So , I s aid, Tom, what do we do for the intro? A nd he was like, okay, here's what you gotta d o. You gotta give some background on who you are. You've g ot t o talk about why you w ant t o do this thing. You've got to talk about why does it even matter what you hope to accomplish, how you're going to do the show. And then you can mention something about why your audio is shit.

Hi, My name's Kelly Lynch and I'm a photographer. At least I was until about a month ago, I had this awesome job traveling around the world, taking photos and collecting stories. Thanks to the pandemic. It looks like it's going to be a while before I get on a plane again.

But even if I can't travel, thanks to the miracle of technology, I can still do the other part of my job, the part where I talk to people and ask them to help me make sense of the world in my personal life. When I have trouble figuring out which end is up, there are two people I call. My friend Cindy lives across the street. Even now we walk and talk almost every day. Cindy is a student of history. She always brings interesting perspectives to conversations that might be dangerous with anybody else. Conversations about politics, religion. And given that Cindy is African American conversations about race.

The other person that I call is my friend Tanvir. Tanvir lives in Bangladesh. And if you run the numbers, we've been friends now for almost half of our lives. He's a photographer. We became friends when I lived in Bangladesh from 1995 to 2004. He taught me how to take photos. But most of all, he taught me how to make sense of that crazy chaotic and wonderful country.

This whole thing started in a conversation we had during my 14 day self quarantine. I had just returned from six weeks on the road in Mozambique, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia.

I'm not a person who likes to be at home much. It seems like there's always something more interesting to do somewhere else. But this time it was different. There was nowhere else I could go. And strangely enough, in removing all of the other choices from the equation, I found peace in just being at home. It made me think about how I've lived my life all these years. And because we know this time won't last forever. It made me think about what I might want to take away from it going forward. Tanvir and Cindy were also re-evaluating things Tanvir said that he had just shredded a lot of his old slides after carrying them around for 20 years. They didn't mean anything to him. His priorities had changed. They were not the work of his heart.

Cindy, who works in education, was struggling with working from home. She was also struggling with the meaning of work and how much of her time is devoted to it in order to survive. We all agreed that in coming to a screeching halt. We'd all come face to face with ourselves. And also with the possibility for a new normal.

We wondered how people from our own communities and from around the world might be adapting to life during the pandemic: small farmers in Kenya human rights workers in Bangladesh, African-American activists in Washington, DC. In this uncharted territory, a diversity of opinions about where we go from here feels like it matters more than ever.

So, stuck at home. We started our pandemic project. We decided to become podcasters.

Who knows depending how long this goes on. Podcasting might become our new normal.