shot by Martyna
Updated: Jan 20, 2021
This project came from a strong desire to connect, but also a need to still use my camera in the times of the pandemic. Effectively, I feel like I am also documenting a significant moment in the modern history. I asked some of my friends, and people that I admire or have a special connection or memory with to share their thoughts on self-isolation and this collective experience we are a part of. I shot these via Skype and Zoom, using my Sony A7 ii with 35mm lens.
This is by no means a new concept, other photographers around the world, unable to go on shoots, have taken to their phone and computer screens in order to keep their craft (and sanity) going. This is my version & my contribution to a new way of creating in a new world that we found ourselves in.
Hope these photographs & stories either move or inspire you, but most of all - remind you how little really separates us. Enjoy!
Shira, 23, London
Food lover and long life dancer. Professionally, I’m a head of supply chain/operations of a small food business and creatively, an urban dancer with a classical background.
I am isolating at my home in Walthamstow, London, and thankfully still have one housemate in the house with me.
My biggest challenge that has come from COVID-19 has not been letting the current situation affect me mentally and productively. Constant negative news from the media and social channels, true and false have been putting more than enough fear, in not just myself, but everyone.
Two significant blessings. One is my friends; they are always a blessing, but in moments like this I really see how blessed I am with my circle and the people that God have placed in my life. We are realistic and vulnerable with each other, digitally uplifting and being there for each other. Second is my job; I’ve been in my current job for 2 months now, but before I was searching for the right career opportunity. I realise that if I took on a different role/company, I may have not been so blessed to still have a job or be given the opportunity to work from home.
Jaha, 33, London, UK
I am the founder of Inara Healing, a creative wellness studio. Helping people to go inwards & reconnect with their true selves to regain balance in their lives. I achieve that through energy & sound healing, meditation and wellbeing events. I am in East London, self-isolating with family.
The biggest challenge for me is not being able to see people, I love face to face interactions. Biggest blessing is that I am with my family during this time, that I am connected online to keep relationships going & check in with people. Plus being able to facilitate remote healing for my clients.
Aga, 34, Bialystok, Poland
I am a marketing and social media specialist, a photographer, Janusz’s wife, and 3-month-old Olo’s mum. We are self-isolating in Bialystok, my hometown, in a bloc of flats.
The biggest challenge is the isolation itself, because I am very active and outgoing, love meeting with my friends. For example, I had tears in my eyes when I realised that I am not going to meet with you, and you’re not going to meet my son. Even though he is small, I still felt sad that I won’t be able to show him the world now as freely as I would wish to. The second is the worry of getting sick, not the virus itself, but other diseases that won’t be cured because of the general situation.
I am thankful for the internet and different forms of communication with friends, and family, especially by sending photos. The other night, we were watching a play on TV, then discussing it with friends afterwards.
Tati, 35, Kiev, Ukraine
Ukrainian living in London. Part-time accountant, and a full-time customer service wizard for a major coffee chain in London. Ex-lawyer, traveller, lover of Asian food, astrology, French language and the sea.
I have been self-isolating with my mother, Natalia, in Kyiv, Ukraine for over two weeks now. The biggest challenge of this time for me is to follow my plans and to not be too relaxed, treating it as a holiday. The other challenge is not being reactive to the horrible news about daily death toll.
I feel blessed that I get to spend this time at home in Ukraine, without worrying that I am missing out on things in London. I feel like this is my opportunity to reconnect with myself, feel calm and peace in my soul, and also a chance to catch up on things that I love and have neglected, such as poetry reading or French language learning.
Yasmin, 23, London, UK
Yasmin Maya Charlotte. A Scottish, Arab, Indian Crystal Lover. I am also a nanny for two wonderful little humans.
Right now I am in East London - my home, isolating with my Soul Sister.
The biggest challenge for me is processing that our lives will perhaps never be the same again - whether that be it good or bad.
The biggest blessing is waking up to clear skies with no chemical trails, hearing a woodpecker call for the first time and taking a step back to appreciate nature still continuing to survive.
Ola, 33, Warsaw, Poland
I am not in isolation. I am in quarantine. I work in a school, in South East London and when they said that they are closing schools in the UK, I've decided to come back home, to Poland. I am staying at my mum's office which is located in a lovely building in the city center. At night I can see Palace of Culture and Science. And I know I am home. Close to my loved ones.
I don't find it challenging at all. I enjoy being on my own as I have to share a house with two other people in London. Now, the kitchen, bathroom and living room are all mine.
I am so happy I got to travel back home and that I can be in the same city as my family. I am thankful for my family and that we are all safe. I think a lot about refugees stuck in different parts of the world and I have to be honest - it drives me mad when my friends say they struggle with staying home. At least we all have homes and we can keep ourselves safe.
Esther, 34, London, UK
I am a believer in human power. I'm a whacker, a performer, life/dance coach and Tarot reader. I am also a blogger who does her best to keep the inspiration up. I'm in London city and I am with my housemates.
I struggle to manage and control my time productively. And to keep my anxiety low.
However I am feeling blessed to have my time back to organise and make a plan for me to be fully independent. Time for realising how beautiful life and nature are. Space to tap more into my internal alignment. Time to face my fears and build unconditional self-love that will aid me in facing reality and bring my future visions into life.