This short edit comes from chapter one of a four chapter photo documentary story depicting life during the pandemic across the United States. The body of work as a whole explores aspects of life and survival during the pandemic. The edit interplays with the visceral feeling of breathing while drawing inspiration from the fact that many victims of COVID-19 died from severe lung damage and the now infamous phrase “I can’t breathe” uttered by George Floyd while police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota slowly murdered him over a period of nearly 9 minutes while face down in a street. Each chapter takes its name from a song which inspired the edit. The chapter here, which lends its name to the entire body of work, is titled “In The Air Tonight” (Phil Collins). This chapter features a slow paced progression of experiences with moments of breath between moments of tension and explores the initial fear of the unknown we all felt, the isolation and aims to remind us of the powers within unity and division.
I began producing this body of work in January, 2020, just as news was breaking about a novel coronavirus spreading rapidly and causing SARS-like symptoms in Wuhan, China. My focus throughout the work is firmly grounded on the pandemic and with that as the base I also explore the intersectional political, social and environmental impacts. It became evident early in 2020, and much more so in 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic compounded with political upheavals, social injustices, uprisings, wildfires and climate change was producing a rapid decline across the western world leading into a massive global economic crisis.
Except for “Community center soup kitchen; Madison, WI, 2020,” this work was photographed entirely on Kodak Film.