Do Not Got Inside at All
"Do Not Go Inside At All" - That was what the paper on my parents’ door read, as put up by my mother. You would think she meant the opposite-- a little switch in words. However, behind that door was my father, an essential transit worker who had tested positive for COVID-19. Living at the epicenter of NYC’s outbreak, a city in Queens named Corona long before the virus ever came, it’s no surprise that this contagion would have found its way into my household. This collection of experimental images and collages was intended to tell mine and my family’s navigation of life as carriers of COVID. It hindered me from being able to go outdoors-- and at one point even out of my room. It pushed my project in the way that you see. The most “outside” it got for me was standing on my balcony. I would spend hours out there, just observing the ant-like people scurrying around. That too, was taken from me. Thankfully, I had my family there always making grocery runs, teas, soups, remedies, and have high hopes to get me through it. And at a time so disorienting, surreal, and desperate, my parents’ correlation between divine punishment and the pandemic was stronger than ever. My parents urged us to have more faith, hence the Catholic iconography and cross drawn on our apartment door using vegetable oil. I hoped to communicate this as well as the general unrest that comes with such unfamiliar waters. It still doesn’t feel real. A few images are me reminiscing the great times I’ve had at Rochester, shooting Special Olympics, leading a different life, disrupted by this reality.
House too small, Work too close
Time has gotten slower; days have gotten longer. To capture this time home has been to capture my family in the place we’ve been for the past 19 years. Everyday I wake up to the same place and do the same thing. Creating unique moments has turned from a common task to something more difficult than ever. This may have been a common idea, but I had to step back to the basics to create these photos, showing me why I love what I do.
Frequently what we see on the outside is not what’s going on the inside. Someone can be smiling in your face happy and seem to be enjoying life, and truly they’re suffering. With portraits I made using FaceTime image capture, and personal narratives, I depicted a network of people to let others know they’re not alone in times of crisis.
Womba Africa Quarantine
Welcome to Womba Africa! This group of individuals were born and raised in Ghana, Africa, and have followed their passion in music to America, settling down currently in Rochester, NY. Womba has always enjoyed playing traditional African songs for many to listen! This includes sold out concerts, performing in public schools, local and foreign events, and more! However, due to the recent pandemic that has left the world on lockdown, Womba Africa has been forced to perform mainly indoors. This final project has been made to document how Womba Africa has been adapting to this recent crisis, showing them perform to listeners virtually, while also maintaining their upbeat optimistic attitude! As many people around the world have found it difficult to entertain themselves, Womba Africa has seized this as an opportunity to rehearse their act and create new dance moves and songs to perform for the near future! Though they have found it difficult to entertain themselves at times, they continue to seek new opportunities and adventure!
Familiar Faces in Unfamiliar Times
With everything going on during this pandemic and the quarantine I felt inspired by the environment assignment previous to this one. I’m sure with the conditions we’re under, everyone had some tough times trying to come up with something unique under these circumstances. I figured that I would photograph what I have come to know in this past month or two of being home. My family. They are the faces I see everyday and the ones I see every day after. I followed each of them with their schedules and just tried to capture a daily routine of sorts mixed with things that have been picked up due to our immense time inside.
I went around to two different cities, Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon. Taking photos of how this corona virus has affected these cities who were once know as sleepless city but now are sleeping.