Our concept of what matters in life has been changed by a Great Event. Not brought about by a large-scale disaster or human creativity, but by a measly strand of RNA with some 30k bases stuck inside a ball of grease with spikey proteins sticking out of it, no more than 120nm big, that someone (I think in the 1960s) thought looked like a crown or the Solar corona.
What first was reportedly a mild kind of ‘flu with some occasional but fatal complications very quickly turned into a Very Big Deal, with a pandemic putting many hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of lives at risk and closing down our usually oh so busy and oh so important activities. It’s scary and it hurts. It’s bringing us back to basics. It’s teaching us who really matters in our lives, as individuals and as a society. And also who and what are maybe less important than they sometimes want us to believe.
But in all this sadness, danger and confusion there lies opportunity to change things for the better. What things in our lives will become more important than before? What can we do without, and how can we replace the practical benefits some of these unwanted things in fact offer?
Until we can be in a position to actually act on this change, all we can do is dream or imagine what good may come from it. Or try to photograph it. Social media is already flooded with photos of “life in the lock-down”, most of them (thankfully) with positive messages for how to get through it, leaving the mainstream media to report on the human drama that unfolds around us. But what about “after”? Can we photograph now our dreams and aspirations for a plausible and sustainable future?
I suddenly feel a photographic challenge coming on…