The Strangers' Yearbook with Karimah Hassan

The Strangers' Yearbook with Karimah Hassan

‘The Strangers Yearbook’ is an art project that Karimah Hassan set up at the beginning of lock down, 2020, to document how people are feeling during ‘this time of uncertainty’. To get involved, participants sent Karimah a selfie and a description of how they are feeling, which she then painted and posted online.  The project lives as an on-going Instagram gallery and reads like a real time update of how people feel and what they are going through.

The project is taking on a life of its own and strangers from around the world are asking to participate- honest responses from people of all walks of life including NHS doctors, cancer survivors, and refugees on the run. Despite the wide variety of narratives, Karimah has found connection in each person’s confession –after all, love and loss are universal.

As 2020 continues to evolve in what seems like an on-going soap opera of plot twists and political tensions, these stories capture what it has meant to survive the highs and lows of 2020. ‘’Where were you in 2020?” will be a phrase that rings true for many of us beyond this decade – with Covid 19, Black Lives Matter, The US Elections and isolation, it’s vital that we archive the times we are living in, as told by the general population.

The project continues to unravel day by day as the political climate evolves and our feelings play catch-up. By asking people how they feel Karimah realised that we have so much more in common than we realise. Many of us feel shame about our emotions – we feel bad about feeling good, and bad about feeling bad – you can’t win. All of this shame is causing us to hide our true feelings and therefore stunt out ability to connect truly; instead we feel overwhelmed that we have feelings about our feelings. Despite the rhetoric, it is in-fact possible to establish genuine connection online- it just takes an intention to be generous.


POP-UP GALLERY: 1 - 4 MAY (12:00 - 17:00)


The Strangers Yearbook is an art project that Karimah Hassan initiated at the beginning of the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown to document how people were feeling during ‘this time of uncertainty’. To get participants involved, Karimah formed a rapport with members of her close circle, slowly expanding into a globally-connected project. Painting the selfies sent from participants, the project lives as an on-going Instagram gallery and reads like a real time update of how people feel and what they are going through. Honest responses from NHS doctors, cancer survivors, refugees on the run - all bringing connection through each person’s confession.

Our first physical event of 2021, The Strangers Yearbook is available to view in Kiosk N1C, Coal Drops YardA commercial pop-up gallery from 1 - 4 May, visitors witnessed Karimah create a mural in live-action over the opening weekend, as well as painting the self-portraits of participants, submitted through Instagram. Karimah's pieces are available for purchase, alongside our signature moth masks and plate sets. If you missed the opening weekend, you've still got time – The Strangers Yearbook will exist as an outdoor exhibition across Coal Drops Yard for all to view until 10 June. If you wish to be a part of the ongoing project, you can do so by sending a selfie to @strangersyearbook and letting Karimah know how you are feeling during this time. 




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