Self-Portraiture in Isolation


A few months of confinement have gone by in Paris and as I try to readjust my lifestyle around the restrictions that have been imposed, I feel very much trapped. I am not able to hang out with my friends, go beyond a one kilometre perimeter around my house, or even visit my father and my brother who live on the other side of town. Instead, I have found myself spending most of my time immersed in the online realm, in an attempt to seek out the face-to-face social interaction that I am lacking.

Self-portraiture has allowed me to respond to the current situation by capturing the difficult relationship that I am experiencing with my spatial limitations. It is a way to creatively express myself, through a visual translation of the wide spectrum of emotions that has overwhelmed me. By freezing precise moments in time and compiling them together – through the medium of photography - I am able to take an extrospective approach, in order to determine how I am affected by the circumstances of the pandemic.

The palette that I have chosen remains monochromatic, so that the composition can fully confront the viewers. Hopefully they can identify themselves with the anonymous persona in isolation that I am embodying and thus, create their own introspective image. It is an exercise which induces a projection of oneself, which may make it easier to externalise certain feelings brought to the surface by these difficult times. As a result, the entire contemplative process encourages self-reflection. This unlocks different perspectives from which we can view the situation from in order to try to cope with it.

Documenting this is important to me because everything still seems surreal, due to how suddenly the virus outbreak manifested itself and impacted us at a global level. Our society is governed by uncertainty, since it is the first time that we are confronting a case of this proportion. Nevertheless, there has been an incredible sense of social cohesion as we work together in confinement through this battle. A long road ahead remains, but as long as we keep up our collective efforts, I am sure that we will be able to slowly, but surely, improve the situation.

Edited by Ketki Mahabaleshwarkar

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