‘Take lots of pictures’ is how we often bade someone farewell when travelling, trillion of photos are taken yearly of people, landscape, meals, food, atrocities, but in these days of isolation, in some part of the world people have only their windows as the eyes to the outside world.
Amidst the compulsory lockdown of major cities around the world, the images and stories are redefining the new realities of an emerging lifestyle. Photographs are inescapably a memorial art and documenting these times is very crucial. In this slowly paced moments, out of the flow time and lockdown, some moment and scene deserve to be well preserved.
From Milan to New York to Bujumbura, all the major roads and popular places are empty, everyone is observing the social distancing, in a government’s effort to flatten the curve and reduce the spread of COVID -19. Photographers are taking this opportunity to capture the emptiness.
A decent photograph of an empty street looks similar to any other decent photograph of another empty street; lonely, unpremeditated at the same time gorgeous, such photos are becoming popular online; easy to shoot and a reliable dose of nostalgia. This new lockdown lifestyle meant one thing-stay indoor! Everyone is staying indoor including Nigerians who by nature are very outdoor people and scattered all over the world.
So how are Nigerians coping around the world? In Italy where the death rate is the highest in the world with about 81,259 deaths, Ibrahim a Nigerian works as a stock manager at a local supermarket. In times like this, such jobs are in a surge of demand.
‘I live in Sondrio, two hours from Milan, I could still go out to work because my job is considered essential, but can’t go out to see friends or breath some fresh air, my little daughter feels sad about this. If you must go out you need to fill a form and state why you are going out, it must be for an important reason… or you will pay a fine or go to jail’
In the comfort of her balcony in Lagos Nigeria, Marathon runner Dayo who is on a mission to run a marathon in every country with a record of being the first African for running marathons in the most number of countries took a challenge and ran 42Km half marathon in thousands of loops around her 7m balcony. It took her eight sweaty hours.
Ikorodu, Lagos Nigeria
Recording a podcast from her room
Originally published on Guardian Nigeria, Sunday 19th April 2020