Diary of a Pandemic: May 1, 2020
The sixth 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.
Each week, we are 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 also include images incorporated into the ongoing collaboration between Magnum Photos and National Geographic which brings readers a global look at how coronavirus is impacting the worlds these photographers see inside—and just outside—their windows. You can see the latest iteration of the collaboration here.
New work on the crisis will be shared daily through Magnum Photos’ Instagram feed and Instagram Stories takeovers.
Moscow, Russia. March 30, 2020.
“Alessandra, my daughter. In confinement together.”
Pushkino, Russia. April 18, 2020.
“There were once adults sitting, watching their children playing in the playground. Now there is complete silence. The benches look as if spiders have spun webs around them because nobody used them.”
Catania, Sicily, Italy. April 10, 2020.
“Controls in the retirement house where the virus has been spreading.”
East Dulwich, London. GB. April 4, 2020.
“My garden, Weeping Cherry blossom and tulips. The place where I live in London was already a quiet cul-de-sac before the restrictions made it quieter still…. There are two young girls a few houses down and in the sunny weather it’s nice to hear their untroubled play in their back garden…. The strange thing about quietness is that it makes noise seem louder; the sound of birdsong…. the sound of rustling leaves….. I take some pictures of flowers, in the garden, in the park, mainly because I like flowers, and I can send them to my wife, who is in Japan, and say…. look, the rhododendrons are in full bloom in Dulwich Park… the tulips are fading.”
Fecamp, Normandy, France. April 9, 2020. “Fecamp Caux Littoral Agglo”, garbage collection.
Wrecza, Poland. 30.03.2020
“3.2 kilometres of water slides in the newly built Suntago – one of the biggest aquaparks in Europe. It was opened 23 days before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. A 150-million-euro investment is now closed.”
Minneapolis, Minnesota. USA. April 25, 2020.
“I’ll never stop relearning the same lesson: a photograph doesn’t depict a thing; rather, it depicts light bouncing off of a thing. The movement of a cloud entirely changes the picture. To absorb this lesson, one needn’t travel to Mont Sainte-Victoire like Cezanne. It’s just a matter of quieting oneself and paying attention. This is hard to do during a pandemic. It feels like we’re falling off of a cliff. But if I turn off my iPhone and simply watch the light, I can see that the world is still spinning.”
Petaluma, California. USA. March 23, 2020.
“Alone by the river.”
Rome, Italy. March 27, 2020.
“Two pilgrims at the Pope’s benediction, ‘Urbi et Orbi’, in Saint Peter’s Square. Due the lockdown nobody is allowed to enter the square. The prayer takes place in an empty Piazzia San Pietro and the audio is broadcast only on television.”
Catania, Sicily, Italy. April 9 2020.
“CT scan of the lungs of a patient with Covid-19 virus.”
Brighton. GB. April 10, 2020.
“Our daughter Chilli, at home during lockdown, continuing to work towards her Fine Art degree.”
Johannesburg, South Africa. April 20, 2020.
“Children at the tuckshop that is operating during the lock down.”
12th district, Paris, France. March 17, 5:15pm.
“Coronavirus crisis. The Louvre, empty.”
Zied Ben Romdhane
Canada. March 19, 2020.
“I am currently in Canada for a personal trip. Two days ago the Tunisian goverment closed the borders and canceled all flights to Tunisia. Unfortunately, I did not bring my camera. Maybe I will buy one in the coming days.”
Wellfleet, Cape Cod. USA. April 27, 2020.
“Sequestered here on Cape Cod, Rebecca and I decided to do what we often do—collaborate on a project to try to make sense of the world around us. So while she photographs in and around the house, I wander the quiet, deserted beaches of my childhood hometown of Wellfleet, following the subtle movements of time and tide, wind and water.”