Anthropology of Valparaiso, Indiana’s Pride, Resolution, and Hope during Covid-19

Found photos during the lockdown by Martin Behnke

This project is a collection of found photos that looks at the effects COVID-19 has had on my hometown of Valparaiso, Indiana. I looked at photos taken since March of 2019. The collection’s main concept is positivity, patriotism and hometown pride and shows the resiliency of the people captured solely through the photos. All of this shows small-town America in crisis. The message of the essay is that people find ways to cope during crisis-especially in small towns.  Trying to not look at the different effects class has had anthropologically speaking was difficult. I incorporated all classes in the photos even though it is apparent COVID’S impact has been systematically uneven on the poor.  Life goes on. People remain hopeful. The purpose of this collection is to have the audience reflect on the struggles but see the resiliency and hope when faced with adversity. The photos should help all Americans see the pride, resolution and endurance that small communities in America have. This is turn should give all people in the world struggling during this pandemic a sense of interconnectedness and oneness.  I have learned about the heartiness and generosity of my town. I have also learned about the obvious racial disparities in my town and how COVID has seemed to bring this to the foreground. My personal hope is that this pandemic brings these causes to light in more people and that something is done about it.  


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

Kasarda, Bob, and Doug Ross. “’We’ll Come Back Stronger,’ Valpo Mayor Tells Struggling Businesses.”, 7 Apr. 2020, 

Press, Associated. “Indiana Expands Coronavirus Testing At 20 Sites Around State As Of Today.” WVPE, 2020, 

“Franciscan Physician Network Valparaiso Health Center.” Franciscan Health, 2020, 

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