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.


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...
right now is a great time for some window shopping... Berlin  
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
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.
The liberty and the free Italy is somewhere there, behind bars. 
The photo was taken during the Covid19 pandemic.  A nurse looks at the horizon from a window with a look of hope.
1 Hour of Lockdown I spent one of my daily dog walks capturing imahges around the Salford area of Manchester hoping to encapsulate the feeling of abandoned normality and claustrophobia during the...
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...
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...
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...
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...
There is a fear that comes from the unknown. The "invisible boogeyman" of coming into contact with the virus. The symptoms that can creep up upon us at a later date, or we may be symptomless and be...
In the times of self-isolation and not being able to go outside I found my way out within myself through the creativity and visual expressions of the mental health of being locked in physically but...



Life in the time of Coronavirus

Free to enter, charitable project to support for understand the life in the time of coronavirus