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  • Evangelia Papoutsaki

Citysolation: a monochrome take of a city in lockdown

Cities aren’t made for silence, they are meant to hum with human interactions and movement. Even the birds are missing us, I think, as they fly around wondering what happened to those cursed humans who've done enough damage to their natural habitat as it is. Still, they miss us, I think. We are meant to be symbiotic.

Over the course of the last 18 months, my core identity of a "solitary traveler of the world" has taken a whole new meaning, a solitary traveler still but of the empty streets of my city, relying on my zoom screen to maintain a connection to the world.

My time is running out

and still

I have not sung

the true song

the great song

I admit

that I seem

to have lost my courage

a glance at the mirror

a glimpse into my heart

makes me want

to shut up forever

so why do you lean me here

Lord of my life

lean at this table

in the middle of the night


how to be beautiful

[My time by Leonardo Cohen from his book of longing]

I am feeling this lockdown more than any other, the only solace I have found is taking to the streets early morning with my iPhone camera ready, micro/macro zooming in and out of the city's myriad details that might have escaped my attention in the past when we all lived busily and distractingly.

There is hardly anyone out very early in the morning when I dive out to the silent streets and those who go out either have their masks on or keep their distance. It feels like a dystopian world where your humanity is rendered invisible, hidden behind a mask, or avoided out of fear of potential contamination. And like its humans, the city itself feels desolate, best expressed through a monochromatic lens.

Dreaming of putting the colour back into my city's landscape...


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