Diary of a Pandemic: April 3, 2020
The second in a weekly series of curations of images made by Magnum photographers around the world, working and living under varying degrees of social restriction
The COVID-19 outbreak has seen most Magnum photographers restricted in their movements. As part of an ongoing photographer-led initiative, Magnum photographers are sharing information, updates, and new work made in these strange and difficult times.
Over coming weeks, we’ll be featuring edits of these images, selected by project leader Peter van Agtmael, alongside personal notes and reflections from Magnum photographers on how they are experiencing the unfolding situation. Van Agtmael’s selections will also include images incorporated into the ongoing collaboration between Magnum Photos and National Geographic which will bring readers a global look at how coronavirus is impacting the worlds these photographers see inside—and just outside—their windows. You can see the first iteration of this collaboration here.
New work on the crisis will be shared daily through Magnum Photos’ Instagram feed and Instagram Stories takeovers.
Thokoza, South Africa. March 28, 2020.
“Family is home. Love and being together for me has changed because of the current crisis. We had to separate because the house is too small. My mother lives with my two nephews, brother, and two sisters. I’m currently staying with my girlfriend at her place. I’m thinking about a family of five or ten people that lives in a shack, and how difficult it would be for them to social distance. I remember when we where living at my house my mother would have to take a bath. We had to go outside and play with the other kids in the streets. Townships are relatively small and they were meant to confine people. We communicate often on WhatsApp and video call each other. It’s a bit difficult.”
Nesoddtangeen, Norway. 2020.
“At home with daughters Boe and Billie, as all the nursery schools are closed during the Coronavirus outbreak.”
Cristina de Middel
Salvador, Brazil. March 22, 2020.
“It’s just been 4 days since all this started in a more serious way here in Brazil. At home we are normally isolated because we live surrounded by the jungle so it is difficult to measure the impact of the curfew. We don’t see anyone anyway… The sounds of the forest are quite relaxing and it is a crazy contrast to follow the news and to look through the window, so I go from total stress to almost levitation.
I spend the day looking at the news and also looking for animals. I like the idea of being an explorer at home. Today the gangs in Brazil have announced a curfew in some favelas in Rio de Janeiro. The message people are receiving by Whatsapp is: ‘We want the best for the population. If the Government is not capable of finding a way, organized crime will take care of it’. It is always difficult to identify the ‘good guys” around here. They also say that ‘Those who are seen in the streets after 20h will learn how to respect the others’.”
Warsaw, Poland. March 27, 2020.
“Portrait of the family on quarantine.”
Moscow, Russia. March 14, 2020.
“Corona Virus Auto-Quarantine”
Graz, Austria. March 18, 2020.
“Home. Day four of the Austria lockdown.”
USA. Petaluma, California. March 20, 2020.
“Ruby and her boyfriend came to visit. They didn’t want to come in the house since they’re coming from San Francisco. They are afraid to contaminate it. We laid in the field 6 feet apart and took pictures of each other.”
USA. Rochester, New York. March 18, 2020.
“I’ve never made or shared many pictures of my family. For the past week (and for the first time) I started photographing my kids, Ava and Iris, somewhat obsessively.
The funny thing is that a few months ago, my schedule was so crazy busy, and I was complaining nonstop that I needed to slow down but didn’t know how. I missed reading, watching movies, being present with my kids. I even traded in my iPhone for a flip phone in an attempt to slow down! Hilarious, isn’t it?
The girls seem to be enjoying the slowness, but like me, they are also butting up against its limits. They play with each other all day long, generally quite well, but they are starting to fight more, as they are each other’s only company. This morning I sat in bed with a cup of coffee next to my older daughter Ava as she woke up. It was the kind of thing I would normally never do on a typical morning when we’re all racing out the door. When she woke up she told me she had two dreams last night—in the first one, she could fly, in the second one, her friends showed up at our house.”
Athens, Greece. March 29, 2020.
“In front of the mirror is the reflection she loves to see. As well as the reflection of the society I want to see after this will be over. A colorful playground like our house has turned into. Every single room.”
Paris, France. March 20, 2020.
“A family in and around New York celebrates the first birthday party of a child in a Zoom call.”
Ontario, Canada. March 13, 2020.
“I decided that now was a good time to dig into editing my Ukraine book, a project I’d begun with the 2014 Maidan uprising. Ukraine has a long and complicated history which I’ve been struggling to visually resolve. It’s a bit like assembling a jigsaw puzzle with a blind fold on, which is why my studio looks like I just emptied a 1,000-piece puzzle everywhere.”
Tintern, Wales. March 23, 2020.
“Coronavirus. I am amazed by how times flies. I have been in self isolation for eleven days now. The cottage seems cleaner. I have more re-scanned, spotted, accurately captioned pictures ready. I don’t seem the least bit bored. I know more names in the village than ever before – but no new faces. Glenn Gould, Bach Goldberg Variations is so inspiring. Love the second part of CD when he keeps repeating phrases with subtle differences that even my ears can pick up. Chet Baker reminds me of very happy times listening to him in Paris – I wonder where she of the time is now. If I listen to two CD’s a day I can last for a year. Village ghost visits twice a week. Spring is trying a visit. Not affected by bugs.”
London. March 27, 2020.
“Thea and Nono getting fresh air in the park.”
Peter van Agtmael
Easton, Maryland, USA. March 26, 2020.
“I’m self-quarantining in Maryland after leaving New York a few days ago. I was joined for the first few days by my friend Christian, who is en route to see his family as well. Though we are both asymptomatic and were very careful in New York, we keep six feet apart and continued to practice the same enhanced hygiene and disinfecting standards. The only exception was when he had to help me dig out a large glass shard that got stuck deep in my foot. I didn’t want to visit the emergency room and risk contracting corona, so we googled some home treatments and eventually after a few shots of whiskey I was able to stab some tweezers deep into my foot and extract the shard of glass.”