Nadia Meli

When the Coronavirus news began taking over the world and one country after the other went into lockdown I became more and more paralysed. As my inbox filled up with cancelled shoots and refund requests, my anxiety creeped in. Slowly and silently. I froze. I read of people dying. I am far away from my family. I suddenly felt the weight of being and living alone. I saw people online offering their gifts and talents to the world and I felt useless, empty and uninspired.

As a photographer I could not bare the thought of not photographing people for the next three (?) months. It almost physically hurts imagining that.
Talking to my photography friends they were all feeling the same way. It’s funny to have a job you can’t imagine not doing. I feel so lucky.

Three weeks ago my client Martina was supposed to come to England for her photoshoot. Then Italy went into lockdown. So she asked me if we could shoot online instead? I thought of the virtual shoot Peter Lindbergh did with Jacinda Ardern last year. And my brain started thinking in colour again.

Of course. Why not shoot anyway?

My friend Aga asked me why I am doing this.
I am not sure I have one simple answer. I suppose there are a few layers to it. The topic of loneliness and belonging has always been a red thread running through my life. Being born an immigrant I never felt either or. Never felt really at home anywhere. I’ve always felt ‘alone together’ in rooms with other people, in countries and places I’ve lived, in communities I was a part of. With others – but on the fringes.
Now, along with all the world I find myself again, alone but together. Disconnected but connected.

The distance we are experiencing now is mostly physical, yet there are many for whom the physical distance now adds even more weight to their inner, very real loneliness.

For some, life has not changed that drastically. For others, everything is different. Despite everyone’s circumstances, I feel like this pandemic is a great equaliser: life has slowed down for all of us. It fascinates me that we are globally going through this at the same time and I am curious how people live right now and how they are feeling.

There is also the simple fact that I love photography and I refuse to live without it. I love meeting people and hearing the story of what moves them. What scares them and what excites them. Photography for me is a door. This project is, at the end of the day, a door.
I am lucky when people let me in – be it for 5 minutes or an hour – and a connection is born.

In this time we feel both, light and dark very strongly. As uncertain, surreal and scary this might be we cannot deny the positives. So I asked everyone I get to photograph two questions: if they are scared of anything right now and where they find joy in this time.

Keywords:

On the 21st March my partner and  I spent the last day before lockdown together walking around London and Trafalgar Square. I had never seen trafalgar square look so empty, so I had to take a...
This is an ongoing project started within the confinements of my home in Manchester.  Using CCTV cameras i explore how places have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and government...
Try to get inspired with everything you have home and try to tell something with them,something about your feelings. A representation of an inner state of consciousness.
During my days of quarantine, today 29th of March they are 21, I've learned to see my window like the mirror of the life outside, the reality of my country now, the tragedy that we are living in...
One of my daily quarantine affairs is heading over to the rooftop of my building to watch the sea from afar. Nearly everyday, there are fishermen who head out to catch their daily meals. It's...
Covid-Story·Vendredi 20 mars 2020· In these weird times of world changes and confinement my first reaction was to cry and ask the skies what am fucking gonna do now? The answer was as simple as...
In NYC, the grocery store shortages are everywhere.  It hit me really hard when I saw all the eggs were sold out.  Eggs are a staple for most peoples diets and generally very reasonable, so...
It’s a good time, to take some time and think about the time… Night time Morning time Daytime Evening time Any time I lost track of time But now more than ever I have time to...
I am a photographer and filmmaker. During the crisis, all my jobs are postponed or cancelled. I'm left alone with my imaginary friends (goldfish). 
It was the day my boyfriend came back from a long holiday and found London way different then it was and me a little paranoid and sad. I took this photo from our garden when there was a window...
A couple walk back from the shops with heaps of toilet paper, Tooting, London, 12 March, 2020. People are hoarding basic amenities like toilet paper, pasta and rice in fear of a nationwide lockdown...
This time has brought a feeling of peace and recuperation to my world. Despite the terrible impacts the virus has had, it has given many people a much needed break and an opportunity to reflect on...
Triage This is a time when hospitals have to decide who to treat first and who to keep waiting. This picture depicts a man laying in a pool of blood (represented by the red blanket), waiting...
When the Coronavirus news began taking over the world and one country after the other went into lockdown I became more and more paralysed. As my inbox filled up with cancelled shoots and refund...
1 Hour Of Lockdown I spent one  hour walking the streets of Salford near Manchester capturing the affects of the lockdown The full 13 image series shows the abandoned societal norms and...

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Life in the time of Coronavirus

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