The planet is experiencing a problem of a huge magnitude. The economic system is damaged and everyone is at home.
At the end of March 2020 photographing people all over the world inside their homes. I am traveling around the world from my own living room. My photographs, taken through and with computer screens is my logbook, my way of trying to understand what is happening globally. It is a great puzzle made up complex mini pieces. This is history in the making, gathering little stories from around the world, in a unique way.
I am confined in my Barcelona flat with my 6-year-old daughter. We play a game on our balcony. We use a mirror to reflect sunlight into our neighbors’ apartments. This gave me the idea to document this great event.
How do I enter someone else’s home during a quarantine? How do I do it technically? First, I make a video call with someone who has agreed to participate in my project. I direct the shoot as if it was a movie and it ends with a screenshot. The pixilated image reflects the times in which we live. The composition is delicate, cinematographic. All this happens with the cooperation of the models using an improvised language. It is not easy, but it is working.
This is a philosophical and experimental approach to photography storytelling. I´ve set a teleworking challenge: How much control over one´s work and vision can a documentary photographer have when she can´t even be on site or touch a camera? The photos are taken remotely, through the most popular means of communicating with each other in this period of social isolation: The screen and the internet.
The virus has reached every corner of the planet using globalization as a means of transportation. As a globalized person, how far can I go by jumping from contact to contact (without using social networks)? So far I have collected over 120 stories on 5 continents and the project continues to grow. I cover all social classes and races: Inuits in Canada; frontline doctors and essential workers; refugees, middle and upper classes; activists, artists, Olympic athletes, loners; people living in skyscrapers, caves, and circuses. I exponentially meet them in my way.
I also include some essential workers (new concept) in their work places.
Next to each portrait, I show the view from the person’s window (streets in Florida, market in Ghana, skyscrapers in Singapore, town in Mexico, the jungle in Colombia, the sea around a Pacific island, the broken streets of Yemen, empty Madrid, or the mountains of the Pyrenees…). There are interviews, photos and videos of the houses that people show previous to the session.
This is a documentary-poetic work made up of many eclectic pieces. It is the story of my own confinement and my need to understand the mechanisms shaping the world, now truly perceived as our home.
Dorothy, 65, is living with her husband Donald, 75, in Port SaintLucie, Florida, USA. They own a private house in a Gated Community with 650 houses.
They moved from New York to Southern Florida after they got retiredin order to “Live the dream”, having continual Summer weatheroutdoors, year-round beaches, & no snow!
Retiring in Florida is the ultimate American dream.
Donald was a self-employed voice/data cable contractor and Dorothy retired after working 37 years in a New York Public School.
“We believe the President of the United States has taken action in our best interests. We believe we should respect our government.
The governor of Florida should have banned northerners traveling toFlorida weeks earlier. There are many living in our community who are “snow-birds”. They spend Winters in Florida, Summers up North. Most returned quickly when virus arrived, bringing the virus with them”.
“This Global Pandemic has changed our mental, emotional state much more than physical. We are blessed to be able to go outdoors; bicycling, walking, seeing neighbors outside for conversation. We are able to preorder takeout meals. Local food markets offer early senior shopping hours to try to keep seniors safe. Covid-19 postponed Donald’s Robotic Lung Surgery scheduled for March 28th.”
“We do not believe life will ever be the same as before Covid-19. Thephysical distancing, we see now will become the new way of life.
Wearing face masks, standing 6+ more feet away from others, nohand shaking, no warm friendly hugs, no large group events for who knows how long, the fear of catching illness from strangers, will become common place. Unfortunately, that fear causes selfishness, unkind actions towards others, which upsets us greatly. Our friendly,outgoing personalities might not be accepted as freely as it had been welcomed before”.
Sabrina and Tom are a German couple. They were traveling in Indiawhen the crisis started. For them it was too late to travel back to Germany. They are in a hotel in Pushkar, India.
They are the only guests apart from another couple from Argentina.The family who owns the hotel treat them very well and the landscape is beautiful. They are now in calm but were deep in fear. At that moment, the Europeans were not welcome in India or anywhere else as they were considered guilty of spreading thedisease. They are unsure of what will happen in India; it will be a huge problem if the economic and health system collapse. Sabrina and Tom are learning to enjoy every minute and control fear.
They are an example of so many people who have had to live through the pandemic somewhere outside their home because they were traveling in that moment. Flights stopped, so they were trapped.
HOW THIS TRIP AROUND THE WORLD WAS MADE
First, the subjects sent me visual and personal information about themselves and the house were they were spendings their quarantine time.
After that,I was send ding back to them sketches explaining the frame I wanted for the screen photo and were to place their mobile phone camera.
The subjects sent me visual and personal information.
Apart from answering my questions and having long chats over a video call, they sent me pictures of their houses and its inhabitants.
With this material I would plan the shooting and send them the sketches.
Sometimes they even show me through video call their surroundings, for example I walked around in a street market in Ghana.