I’m of the opinion that there’s nothing that can’t become the subject of a photo-project, it’s only as mundane as the photographer makes it.
But now during lockdown. with the fear of arrest, coupled with a lack of suitable subject matter, it will curtail the activities of most street photographers, so, what to do instead?
Now that going out has become rather difficult, why not turn our attention inwards instead, and study ourselves?
The time capsule: The flat
Who would have thought that it would come to this, everyone on the planet unexpectedly given a front row seat to observe at close quarters how evolution plays its deadly game of survival, that of natural selection.
The only defence against which, being a global lockdown, is social distancing, which means everyone stuck at home binge watching TV-series on Netflix, or for those requiring a more challenging pastime, reading perhaps, finally time to brush up on those forgotten classics of modern literature: Darwin’s Origin of the Species.
Confinement on this scale brings its own problems, mental issues caused by prolonged social isolation, an economic downturn of truly epic proportions, but what other choice is there?
Although there are tragically casualties, most do survive, but it’s similar to a huge lottery, and everyone has a ticket, there are winners and losers, and it’s all a perverse accident of genetics, and while vaccines are hurriedly developed to aid a return to normalcy, the virus starts to mutate, almost certainly a result of the lockdown itself, because even the virus is slave to the same evolutionary pressures, and as transmission becomes more difficult, it too will probably evolve into ever more virulent strains.
This virus will almost certainly never be totally eradicated, and just like the common cold or flu, it’s here to stay.
But now, sitting in our own four walls, what is this box called home we’re all living in?
A flat, a house, it’s not just an assemblage of rooms, because just like a museum, it houses a collection of items that defines our life up to this present point in time, it’s a time capsule, where objects and their associated memories lie in wait with every turn of the head.
Every object says something about its owner, or is the gateway to private memories, by their very definition always a reminder of the past, some good, some bad, an object can at best encapsulate our hopes for the future.
Furniture, pictures, odd pieces of junk, everything has a tale to tell.
This is a COVID lockdown ramble through my own time capsule, but first, some background, the flat itself …
Home, sweet home
I’ve been extremely lucky, I live in a gorgeous old house in Wilmersdorf, just a short walk away from the Ku’damm in the center of Berlin.
The flat is on the ground floor, so, no climbing nasty flights of stairs every time I need a loaf of bread, and the flat also has a 50m garden front and back to look over – does living in a major city get any more rural?
Next time … the painting
© Andrew James Kirkwood – 2020
© 2021 - Andrew James Kirkwood
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