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:

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...
Due to the toilet paper stockpiling, well known worldwide, I had the idea to sew a message in a toilet paper square. I do believe that the image speaks by itself.  There are always...
the satisfaction of a woman after giving birth to her baby in a time of pandemic there is always a light of hope, a new life a new color ...
Daily life in Barcelona, the days goes by as the neighbours try to keep a life as normal as they can. Couples need their space as well, a ray of spring sun it´s a treasure these days in Barcelona
Who needs pearls when you've got toilet paper? The Coronavirus crisis has forced us to reassess our reality, to reassess what is important to us and what is not. Who'd have ever thought that we'd...
I'm a painter living & working in County Kildare, Ireland.  A while ago, visiting my brother in Balbriggan, I came out of the house to see this double rainbow. The light of the sun had...
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...
Everyday brings the unknow.  My heart went out to this woman, resting on a very empty train.  I can only imagine her story.  Perhaps, she is coming from work.  Tired, she like...
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.
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...
While my partner and I were out for the last time before the lockdown, I also found this shot of a bus driver with nothing to do and no one to transport so he was just waiting around. The Coronavirus...
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...
With shops closed and people working from home, downtown Gastonia is its own kind of isolation.
Crowds storm a supermarket in south London, reaching high for the shopping baskets with outstretched hands in desperation. 
Britain is in lockdown, a social state represented by this photograph of a garage door. The simplicity of the message is in tune with the simplicity of the instruction to stay at home.

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Life in the time of Coronavirus

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