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Whatever people say I am: Locked Down?

That's what I'm not!

Degrees of Isolation

‘Degrees of Isolation’ follows the life of an English Literature student who is unable to return home during lockdown. During her isolation she turns to the work of George Orwell whose writing and words of wisdom provide comfort and guidance during these difficult times. With shops shut and no-one to talk to, she explores her immediate environment and finds solace in nature.

The themes in this comic are drawn from interviews with 100s of students since the first lockdown. Many were angry at being represented as irresponsible in the media when, conversely, they had been deprived of a traditional education and were unable to enjoy what should have been the best years of their life.

The commercialisation of higher education means that arts and humanities subjects are under systematic attack. The value of education is now defined by employment statistics and labour market outcomes. Therefore, this comic should also be seen as a love letter to literature and a reminder of the vital role the arts played for many of us during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Meet the team

Writer: James Walker

James has worked in education for 15 years. He is passionate about creating opportunities for new and emerging artists and writers, such as Lauren, the artist for this comic. He recently gave the talk ‘A Tale of Two Comics’ to the Centre for the Study of Inequality, Culture and Difference and produces the monthly YouTube video ‘Locating D.H. Lawrence’.



Artist: Lauren Morey

A Creative Writing student at Nottingham Trent University, Lauren is a multidisciplinary creative practitioner with experience in all types of writing, including: prose, epistolary, poetry, scripts, and graphic novels. Lauren recently produced a lockdown poem on instagram (@2digiexperiment) - split into 52 lines of poetry in 12 sections, to symbolise the year of lockdown. Her final dissertation is an LGBTQ+ love story produced in the form of a graphic novel.

Lauren Morey (LinkedIn)


Digital Production: Paul Fillingham

Paul has collaborated with James on digital storytelling projects for over ten years. Originally trained in the Bauhaus tradition of multidisciplinary art practice, his work sits at the intersection of technology and the humanities. In recent years he has become involved in the digital transformation of UK Government services with a particular interest in user experience design, and tackling issues around accessibility and digital inequality.