Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – 23 October 2020

This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – two pandemic lockdown projects: Magnet galleries 5km Radius: Documenting the 2020 Melbourne Lockdown; and Photographers in Confinement a project curated by FotoEvidence publisher Svetlana Bachevanova and hosted by FOTODEMIC.

If you haven’t done so already, please watch our new video interview series Photojournalism Now: In Conversation – subscribe to the channel by clicking on the red A. There are interviews with Robin HammondRenée C. ByerSean Gallagher and Lisette Poole

Virtual exhibition:

5km Radius: Documenting the 2020 Melbourne Lockdown

Continuing its virtual exhibition series, Melbourne’s Magnet Galleries called for local photographers to share their experiences of lockdown. For the past few months Melburnians have been confined to their homes and not allowed to travel further than a 5km radius, save for exceptional circumstances. These are a few of the exhibition images taken during this time. On show until 15 November.

Essential Exercise, Dandenong Road (C) Brent Lukey
Good Times – Covid Times (C) Colin Abbott
During Melbourne’s strict lockdown, for some the only place to get some sunshine is sitting on the steps of the inner city suburb of Brunswick (C) Ilana Rose
Social Distancing (C) Michael Silver
CBD (C) Eric Algra
The Silence (C) Pam Davison

Photographers in Confinement: A project by Svetlana Bachevanova

FOTODEMIC is an online platform established by Fred Ritchin and a group of graduates from the International Center of Photography in New York in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The site is host to Photographers in Confinement, a project by founder and publisher of FotoEvidence Svetlana Bachevanova who has invited photojournalists from around the world to submit self-portraits of their time in lockdown.

Bachevanova says “Photographers in Confinement is a collection of self-portraits made by photojournalists from five continents during the unprecedent lockdown due to the corona virus pandemic. Photographers are people on the road, living to document the lives of others. Constrained by the lockdown, many of them had their first  experience of being still long enough to begin seeing and understanding small details about who they are, their lifestyles and values, that were overshadowed while they were busy. These self-portraits express their experience.”

As Bachevanova points out, “This is a unique collection of self-portraits from some of the best lenses in photojournalism at an historic moment.” I love this series, the raw honesty of the photographers, their creativity and the unifying experience that comes from knowing that we are not alone in feeling like crap, wondering what life will be like on the other side and valuing the coping mechanisms that we have taken for granted.

If you are a photojournalist and would like to participate send your submission to

Here is a small selection. Visit FOTODEMIC to learn more about this initiative and view more detailed submissions.

“When the first information about the new Covid 19 virus appeared, no one understood how large this pandemic could become. And there was still a hope that we would avoid it. But very soon the virus reached my city. A few weeks later, the authorities decided to introduce a self-isolation regime. I have never had such an experience…” Valery Melnikov, Russia. Read more.
“This is a photo of myself in my bathroom at home. Living in this so contradictory reality, which was dominated by distance and hygiene, gave me the feeling of living more than ever before in a bubble. I have switched off my thoughts and withdrawn emotionally. I took more baths than usual. They gave me ease…” Marzena Skubatz Berlin. Read more.
“Self-portrait while looking out of the window at night. It’s unusual to see so many lights on. Italy was one of the first and most affected countries during the outbreak, and from the onset of quarantine I was fortunate enough to choose to self isolate. Colleagues were out documenting the unfolding consequences of the virus and I constantly questioned my role as a storyteller in this situation, and what could be a possible contribution to the visual heritage and testimony created by the pandemic…” Camilla Ferrari Milan. Read more.
“On January 29, with trepidation, I’m shaving off my beard in Wuhan’s university apartment after learning that Chinese nurses, due to hygienic reasons, cut their hair to battle the novel coronavirus outbreak. I was forced to establish a solid set of hygiene rules and used common sense since there was no pathogen for the virus…” Arek Rataj Wuhan, China. Read more.
“Fifteen. These Days. March 27, 2020. Zoom meetings continue. And go on forever. Some of them nourish me. A lot of them don’t…” Sara Terry Los Angeles, CA. Read more.
“As Covid-19 spreads throughout Europe and containment measures are imposed on citizens by the various states, I decide to start a work of documentation of my daily life in confinement through a series of self-portraits featuring a hypochondriac character bordering on paranoia. It is a work about loneliness and boredom through which I tried to bring a touch of humor and poetry to lightly counterbalance the gravity of the health crisis we are going through…” Mathias Zwick, Paris. Read more.

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