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Connected III

My photographer heart is full. Meeting people I probably would have never met be it not for this pandemic, having an awkward time directing them directing themselves with their phone / laptop, creating portraits of a unique moment in our time - A whole week of shooting for this series and it's been more intense than I could have imagined! Trying to fit people in different time zones in during my daylight and their daylight wasn't always easy :) but everyone has been super supportive and generous!

Meet part 3 of 'Connected'. Starting with the woman who started it all: Martina (read more about it in part 1). There will be a full isolation story coming on her actually, but for now, I hope you enjoy this:

Martina 36, Milan, Italy

In this moment I am alone in Milan, I left Barcelona (where I normally live) at the beginning of March to work on a video production. Unfortunately Italy got into lockdown shortly after and I have been unable to go back to Spain.

Rather than fears, worries and thoughts. For my own health and for my loved ones -especially for those who live far away-, then about my job as a freelance in the near future. I also have a more general concern about political and socio-economical repercussions we’ll face afterwards. Overall, I think that to be worried is not a negative or a strange feeling for the time being, but the important thing is not to be overwhelmed by fear and anxiety.

So, I am trying to be resilient, informed and to adopt a positive mindset. I am not listening to news all day-long and I am always trying to schedule my day in order to have control over it, since the situation we’re all involved in sometimes seems to be chaotic. Moreover, I also accept to be vulnerable and even worried at times, it is part of life!

I find joy doing activities that mentally and emotionally get me connected with myself and my “normal” life. Usually I am a friendly, realistic and curious person, so the quarantine doesn’t change strongly my way of living. I enjoy small activities as: daily yoga, reading good books, being in touch with relatives or friends, drinking coffee in the balcony, watching “cult movies”, keeping company to people alone, switching the phone off for a few hours, listening a “live” concert on my laptop.

In order to be involved and focused on a medium-term project, I am trying to create a video documentary about quarantine involving some friends: the idea is to not only suffering passively these days but to try to find a bigger sense to this pandemic.

Carolina 40, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

I fled London (that's how I felt) right before the lockdown so I could come to Rio de Janeiro and be with my 83 year old father who lives alone. Since I arrived in Brazil I have been self-isolating with my mother for two weeks until it's safe to go to see my father.

Although I am in my mother's house, I haven't been able to hug her. I spend most of my time in the bedroom I sleep in, leaving the room only to get food and drinks.

What brings me the greatest joy right now is to be able to talk to my mother while social distancing (it is what it is). The thing that haunts my mind is how Brazil will manage with so many without income and so many others getting sick.

Zak 30, London, UK

I live with my family in London. What scares me about this situation is the unknown timescales, the death toll and the longterm impact on society. It all seems unpredictable right now.

However I am enjoying connecting with people, finding beauty in stillness and re-aligning my priorities.

Marilynn 71, Victoria, Canada

Let me begin by confessing that I am, for the most, enjoying this global “time out”. On a personal level I am finding joy in being alone and having this unexpected gift of time to just be still with nowhere I need to be. I am using it to read, to re-discover the pleasure of simple tasks like cooking, planting seeds in my tiny garden and especially to fill my home with music. These everyday activities bestow happiness, enhance my self-awareness and restore my faith in peoples’ ability to set aside differences to work together creatively and tirelessly for the greater good of humanity.

The early spring has also brought flowers to my windows – the soft pink blossoms of the cherry trees, tulips, daffodils and delicate pale green buds. Apart from the peaceful solitude of self isolation, I am also strongly feeling the very human need to connect and reach out to friends and family. Whether living just across the hall or in other countries of the world I have a compelling desire to be reassured that they are safe and coping well with this unwelcome visitor which has dropped so suddenly into their lives.

Staying at home, where I would like to sew protective masks for health care workers in my community if needed, is my best contribution towards containing the virus where I live. By staying calm and positive each day of quarantine, I hope to learn to accept this new reality of uncertainty and by doing so, keep it from morphing into nameless fear and anxiety. I believe that when this is over we will have learned valuable lessons about ourselves and others.

Dalibora 38, Rijeka, Croatia

I am living with my boyfriend: we are both self employed, he owns a local gym. He had to close due to the situation so we are both with no income at the moment. My (our) fear is that we will not make it with our savings if this lasts longer. But we are very optimistic and want to believe this whole situation will make us stronger.

I find joy in our plans for the next day, time to do things I didn't have time for until now, conversation with my friends over Face Time or Skype. Morning routines, Norah Jones, helping others in whatever way I can. Actually, being at home is not a punishment for me, I am used to being alone and working from home, so I enjoy the quiet moments as well. I am happy my parents are safe and sound. I am happy my grandparents didn't live to see this, because they would be 800km far away now and I would feel heartbroken for not being there to help them.

I read a beautiful quote yesterday, "Your freedom lives in your ability to understand that nothing is certain. Yet, in the uncertainty, you hold the power to create anything." This actually helped me a lot in thinking about all the ways how to reinvent myself. It's all scary, but we'll make it. This too shall pass.

Chris 39, Greensboro, USA

I am currently living with my parents in my hometown of Greensboro, North Carolina. I reside in Brooklyn, New York, but I left the city three weeks ago because I knew it was going to get bad there and I wanted to look after my folks during this time since they're both considered high risk. I'm thankful to have the privilege to go elsewhere and avoid the traumatic situation that's currently happening in NYC. I feel for the people there, especially the medical workers and those that can't leave and have to work to make ends meet. My primary fear I honestly don't even want to articulate because I believe in the power of the mind and the tongue; I'm working on keeping my thoughts positive. I will say that I do have anxiety about how all of this is going to play out. I've accepted the fact that we're going to be in this thing for a while (based off what the experts are saying), but it's still very unsettling. I've gotten to a place where I'm okay for the most part during the day.

I try to start my mornings with a meditation for balance and mental wellness. At night though, my subconscious goes wild while I'm sleeping. I've had some pretty bad and/or crazy dreams over the past couple of weeks. I know that's just the fear of the unknown for our collective future that's bubbling up.

I find joy in simple things: easy days, the good weather at home and taking care of my Mom and Dad, like cooking for them and running quick errands so they don't have to go out. I also love talking to my baby girl on FaceTime daily. We talk in the morning and at night before she goes to bed. That's my heart.

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