Photography in The Age of Corona Dwells on Life in The Pandemic

Photography in The Age of Corona Dwells on Life in The Pandemic

A new website is the brainchild of photo editors who have come together to photograph, share and collect the “psychological, social and economic effects” of the pandemic in early April.

“Photography in the Time of Corona” introduces photographers who document “lives which have become limited in different ways” through “internal and external visual reflections”.

Editors made an open call to photographers and set an application deadline of May 2. The aim was to document what the photographers saw around them – organisers were met by an enthusiastic response. The results are all now being displayed on the website that is being updated daily throughout July 2020 – an Instagram and a Facebook page have also been established.

The aim of the initiative is to “create a visual memory of today by noticing our states, our emotions, our moments, by trying to look at ourselves from the inside.”

The website has sections dedicated to ‘single photos’, ‘stories’ and ‘editorial stories’. Single photos are self-explanatory: they are one-shot submissions by photographers and are standalone pieces. Stories are instead collaborative efforts, consisting of one photographer and one editor, resulting in a series of photos per team. Editorial stories, on the other hand, are images from various photographers that have been selected by an editor around a theme.

TRT World has spoken with one of the editors, Serkan Colak from Izmir, about his ‘Across the Window (Karsi Pencere)’ editorial story, which is featured below. A photographer for 20 years, Colak says “when the offer came to join the editorial board [of ‘Photography in the Time of Corona’] I accepted without hesitation.”

Colak is part of the Mahzen Photography collective, “primarily producing documentary work.” He is also involved in No. 238, which is an independent culture and arts space as well as photography workshop.

Colak’s ‘Across the Window’ selection, he says, was informed by three films: ‘A Short Film About Love’, part of director Krzysztof Kieslowski’s ‘Dekalog’ series, that sees a 19-year-old youth observe and eventually fall in love with a woman in her 30s from his window.

Then there is Ferzan Özpetek’s ‘Facing Windows’, in which the director tells of a woman’s inner world and her sensitivities in poetic language.

Finally, there’s Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Rear Window’, in which Jeff Jefferies, a photographer, confined to a wheelchair and a leg in a cast, begins to watch his neighbours’ lives from the window, growing obsessed with their movements, habits and conversations, inviting the audience into becoming a Peeping Tom, too.

According to Colak, the ‘Across the Window’ series reflect photographers who tell the viewer about their own lives when “trapped within four walls and the nearest human being is across the window”.

“As they photograph others,” Colak tells TRT World, “they show their own selves.”

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