What does being lonely in London really look like?

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Hollie Richardson
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Lonely in London

People living in cities like London experience loneliness a lot over the weekend, according to research. This exhibition shows what being lonely in London actually looks like. 

People living in cities are more likely to feel lonely than elsewhere in the UK and are loneliest on weekend evenings, it was reported earlier this week. The findings came as part of Loneliness Awareness Week and the Let’s Talk Loneliness campaign, which was set up by the Jo Cox Foundation following the MP’s murder in 2016.

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Although pretty much everyone knows what it’s like to be lonely at some point, this research proves it’s an ongoing issue for many – especially those living in a city. But, in order to address it, we first need to recognise it in all its forms and break the stigma around it. After all, who wants to admit they’re lonely?

To highlight this, photographers have shared real stories of lonely Londoners in a new exhibition.

London is lonely
London is Lonely Photo © Toby Keane

London is Lonely is an exhibition composed of 10 photographs and audio stories of loneliness in London, all of which represent people who live, work or spend time in the capital. Curated by artists Tessa Blencowe and Irene Palacio, London is Lonely highlights the magnitude of loneliness while demonstrating that this is a shared issue, and therefore we can all be part of the solutions. The exhibition invites visitors to think about their role and how we can all help build a more connected world.

Headsets with the audio stories looped together will be offered to visitors on their arrival, and they will be encouraged to listen to the stories while viewing the portrait photographs but without knowing which story belongs to which subject.

London is lonely
London is Lonely Photo © Irene Palacio

Tessa Blencowe, a London is Lonely artist, explained: “Loneliness affects us all, regardless of our age, how many friends we have, or where we come from. Loneliness is a very human reaction to a very real feeling of disconnect, whether that’s with others, with ourselves or with the world around us. We all feel lonely sometimes - there should be no shame in that.”

London is Lonely is open at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London on Sunday 23 June as part of the Great Get Together. You can also share you story about being lonely in London here

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Top image: Irene Palacio
 All other images: Toby Keane and Irene Palacio as part of London in Lonely


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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…