(2020 - work in progress)
This project was supported by the National Geographic Society Emergency Fund for Journalists and is part of a collaborative project with Ayün Fotógrafas.
On March 20, Argentina entered a full lockdown which we expected to end quickly but instead lasted for several months − much longer than we thought. We were only allowed to go outside for groceries, urgent matters, and essential work. I had to explain to my 2½-year-old daughter that she wasn’t allowed to play outside anymore, that kindergarten was closed, and we couldn’t visit other people. Borders closed, flights from my family in Germany to visit us got cancelled, and from one day to the next, our world had completely changed.
I felt as if I were drowning in chaos − our routine, our place, everything was out of order. We were struggling with our everyday life. I felt trapped, like a caged animal in a megacity. From the terrace I looked at the treetops in front of our building and felt the desperate need to connect with nature. Growing up in rural Germany, nature and animals had always been a very important part of my life and I wanted my daughter to live the same way. When moving to Buenos Aires, I made a compromise with myself to feed that need through frequent travels and escapes to the countryside. All that suddenly stopped.
After a month, I found out I was pregnant. A sudden silence occupied the chaos. It was like, after spinning in high speed, the world had pushed pause. During full quarantine, after several days of heavy emotions, my body decided to end the pregnancy before it even had really begun. What followed was a profound sadness and guilt: I felt betrayed by my own body and at the same time, guilty about my sadness, for it had been “nothing“ so far. For a brief moment, I was a soon-to-be mother of two. And what struck me most − I knew all along before having any evidence in my hand. I began to be aware of the connection again, of my mind and body, of my instincts, my female intuition.
In order to fight against an overwhelming feeling of paralysis, I picked up the camera and began documenting what was around me. My daughter, my partner, myself, and what I missed so much − nature, little moments outside, forbidden walks to a nearby lagoon where I encountered a magical world. Nature had regained space, the lake lay crystal clear in the middle of Buenos Aires, teeming with birds and fish. I started to feel my part in a greater ecosystem, as a mother and as a woman, analyzing this connection with our inner animal.
Technically, by nature, humans don’t undergo metamorphosis, but this quarantine somehow felt as if we do. Only the outcome is still unclear.