When the UK announced its lockdown, everything suddenly began to happen exceedingly fast, without having time to realise what was actually going on. It was a challenge to honestly communicate thoughts and feelings aloud during this time, as we were all going through it - just in different ways. Thus, we began to exchange diary entries between each other as a form of chronicling of what had been occurring in our lives and to openly share our daily habits, feelings of loneliness and isolation.
This work aims to show how two individuals with very contrasting stories were “getting by” during lockdown in the pandemic. Our intention was to connect with each other through our visual responses and written entries.
For Michaela, using a diary format was a way to stick to some sort of a routine, categorise her days and attempt to create a structure, which made staying indoors for over two and a half months easier. Her entries were often quite repetitive but all these moments of writing down her daily actions used to keep her mind occupied and assisted in differentiating one day from another. Kristina’s entries mostly focused on recording her thoughts and moods throughout the duration of the lockdown. She was supposed to be back in the U.A.E with her family, but was unable to get back before the travel restrictions were put into place, which led her to be stuck alone. Experiencing lockdown alone and with little human contact, the act of writing down different states of mind enabled Kristina to let go, and focus on making the next day better than the one before.
Additionally, the written entries have been paired with images from our archives, showing calm places of nature, which throughout the lockdown, represented our personal utopias. Consequently, the photographs of environments served as our way to “escape”, to reminisce, whilst transmitting a feeling of serenity, positivity and enabling us to forget about our intimate spaces that we were constrained to. This visual conversation had begun at the end of March and continued until early June. Throughout this period of time, we have written over 70-80 diary entries.