Corona Call 2020
by Sana Sanaa
Artists and works selected by the jury
The following 25 projects – in alphabetical order by artists first name – were selected by the Corona Call panel of judges comprising 7 international curators, editors, publishers and artists. We are all very pleased with the success of the contest: 578 projects from 466 authors, all together 5.785 images showing a broad panorama of the impact of this pandemic, , both in society and in the private sphere. A team of curators is already working on the first exhibition, which will take place in October 2020 at the Fahrbereitschaft Haubrok, one of Berlin’s most exciting art venues. Further exhibitions are already planned in Nairobi, Lagos, Kigali and Cape Town. Each of these exhibitions will be individually designed by the respective team of curators: In addition to the works on the shortlist, the curators have access to all submissions and, depending on their individual focus, they will select further works.
Attila Gazsó (Hungary)
The covid-19 pandemic took a serious effect on the everyday life of my family. As a father of four the closing of schools and daycares, home education and generally the long closeness was a great challenge, while working in one of the biggest shopping centre of Europe my job and with this, the main income of my family was in danger.
Besides all this negative effects, the lockdown caused also a lot of positive outcome. Since I started working 20 years ago, I never had the chance to spend so much time tight-drawn together with my family, which is in hindsight quite a scary recognition… We have spent a lot of time on learning, playing, reading, watching movies, cleaning, gardening, resting, all the everyday things… together! Things we should have expend much more time before the pandemic. It was a very eye opening experience that we should take with us, as life gets back to the so called “normality”. I wanted to ease this duality of the situation, the contradiction between financial insecurity, claustrophobia and the never before experienced amount of quality time spent together with my beloved family. I took my camera and documented the whole 6 weeks of our family lockdown. The result is a family abum with a twist. The photographs are all analog, self developed and scanned at home. This period of time was a self awareness training and a family therapy at the same time, and a great opportunity to re-evaluate a lot of things.
Carlo Bevilacqua (Italy)
A New Italian Renaisance
The coronavirus pandemic has been revolutionising the way we live and work, and some of the social and economic consequences may prove to be profound. In reality, every crisis always conceals an opportunity. From the very beginning, the Italian business world was able to seize this opportunity, not only by continuing to produce, work and ensure that the country could keep on moving during the emergency,
Chantal Edie & Zacharie Ngnogue
Ce travail photographique est un condensé d’histoires et de pensées réelles qui racontent comment nous avons vécu les moments difficiles infligés par le nouveau coronavirus.
Evering Road People
A microcosm of London life In a time of lockdown where we’ve all been asked to stay at home, I turned the camera on my own street. Evering Road is 1 mile long in the heart of Hackney, London and I’ve lived here for over eight years without really knowing those around me.
Da Miane aka Nika Pailodze
The quarantine during Coronavirus disease made people stay at homes and created turbulence of emotions and fears as well, caused by Pandemic period. I tried to express how woman takes her role and how her rights to freedom of speech are restricted in family. Moreover, a woman has to do far more domestic chores in Pandemic period and I express that by washing, drying and ironing of the masks.
Dillon Marsh (South Africa)
Fever Dream is an ongoing photographic series that is part artwork and part therapeutic outlet. I started producing these images towards the end of 2019, a few months before the Coronavirus outbreak started. At first, the driving force behind this project was my growing malaise stemming from my distrust of humanity’s ability to take care of itself and the planet we live on. Lurid colours and dystopian undertones permeate the images in response to these feelings.
NOTES FOR A (RE)IMAGINED #WALDEN
In 1845 Henry David Thoreau leaves the family home in Concord and settles in the cabin he has built next to the Walden Lagoon to “live life intensely from beginning to end”. Walden, Thoreau said, “is a book written for that majority of men and women who are unhappy with their lives and the times they have had to live through, but who could improve them.
Guillaume Martial (France)
ROOM WITH VIEWS
ROOM WITH VIEWS is a visual search developed as part of the lockdown. She stages a character in his room locked up with himself. Finding himself incarcerated in spite of himself, a man half naked plays with space, time and objects to try to build himself a new world, with derision and poetry. Each photographic sequence, composed of 3 chronological images, tells of an unreal situation lived or manufactured by the character.
Behind the mask
A reportage of the treatment of Covid-19 patients in the small hospital of Dannenberg. At arrival the patients are brought straight to the isolation ward where they get examined by the doctors and the mandatory tests are taken.
Ilan Godfrey (South Africa)
Togetherness is Temporary
Introspection has been something many of us have embraced at some point over the span of this year.
Oasis: In our quarantine yard.
It is a series created during 95 days of the confinement of my family in a Spanish countryside, the place we were surprised by the lockdown. It explores the experience of social distancing in a rural area where space is widened but, at the same time, human presence is scarce.
Especially for children, who make the bars, the gate their window to the world. The contact with nature is intensified and a silence, leisure are filled by observing natural events. Simultaneously, the break with reality and its common rhythm, makes the imagination flourish. With the sunset, the restlessness and fear of death awaken. We all learn how to tame these monsters of the night and wake up light enough to appreciate the growth of our temporary vegetable garden. As travelers, we were surprised not only by the state of emergency declared by the Spanish government but also by hostile behavior of the police and some citizens driven by fear and panic. After three uncertain days and many unsuccessful attempts to find any open supply area, we decided to publish on our social media a help request. In a few hours, we received hundreds of messages from unknown people that, in an act of solidarity, were offering us their gardens, country houses and flats. We decided for the closest countryside option. We were received by Adrian, a young guy in the mask, who with his hand in a rubber glove handed us the keys and rapidly showed us the land and the house. In that moment, we felt as viewers and simultaneously characters of some futuristic film and these feelings of strangeness and duality accompanied us for the next 13 long weeks. Through this work I aim to make visible an experience of going through the Covid-19 quarantine far from a large city, in the rural area, in which contact with nature brings caress, but tension is enhanced by human absence, both visual and audible. I also want to shed light on the solidarity of those who helped us find our oasis.
Jonathan Liechti (Switzerland)
Encounter on the doormat
On March 17, 2020, the Swiss government declared the “extraordinary situation” and tightened measures against the spread of the new coronavirus. Distance rules were introduced to protect the population and private contacts were to be kept to a minimum. Where we had previously crossed the doorstep as a matter of course, we were left with noticeable uncertainty. A new kind of meeting arose: we laughed, discussed and listened at a distance – we drank from the glass we had brought along and went to the grocery for others. The conversations on the doorstep quickly lasted several hours. This series shows the encounters with the closest contacts as my partner and I experienced them during the two months of the Corona lockdown.
Covid19. A diary from Naples, Italy
On 12.03.2020 Italy has been declared red zone for the Covid19 emergency.
Marc Shoul (South Africa)
“The Storm Is Upon Us” President Ramaphosa Covid slipped into South Africa while it was busy giving Italy a beating. Anxiety and fear increased as a national state of disaster was announced in March 2020. Pressed into a morbid game of hide and seek we isolate. Soon after Ramaphosa announced the procedures for a 21-day lockdown, the South African National Defence Force were deployed to enforce the new reality and rules.
Socially distanced shopping queues snake out into mall parking lots. Trollies overflow with supplies. The banning of liquor and cigarettes sales opened up a massive black market to fill the demand. We stood masked, sanitized, confused and silent. Our hospital systems sat uneasily knowing that it was just a matter of time before the tsunami would hit. South Africa, already in a recession and freshly demoted to “junk status” when the virus arrived, was told to stay home. For many this meant no income, no future. Crime dropped, although domestic violence spiraled while ruling party officials busied themselves grabbing tenders. The result is that vital safety gear run low in state hospitals. The lockdown got extended by an additional 14 days, but in truth it has been going on in some ways for months. This did little to stop the rapid spread of the virus. For many, the walls started closing in and hunger overcame Covid as the most pressing concern. In-between family duties I would traverse the city, I have found, and share, many stories of heartbreak and many visions of a nation at war, not only with a pandemic but also with itself. I needed to shoot life in this time of change. I looked at the dramas and the dramas spoke to me through the images they offered up. Does that mean that all the images are pictures of despair? Indeed, there is plenty of that. But the South African street remains a place of resilience and survival. It has always been that way, and I hope to show that ordinary life goes on, and will flourish, despite this global setback.
Rear Window quarantine
“You, unknown neighbor, everyday up to the roof with your children and made me smile, despite the heavy, leaden mood that surrounded us.” In Milan, during this Covid-19 lockdown time, balconies, terraces and roofs have become the only useful places to get our yard time… we took a walk on the roofs transformed into gyms, solariums, libraries.
Balconies and windows were the escape route, the holiday, the break from a monitor-shaped job, the only way to see our fellow and their fragmented identities. One of the consequences of the pandemic will be to rethink the design of houses, especially as regards the common parts, in order to make cities more resilient . In Italy the debate,involving architects, physicians, sociologists, has already opened.
Miguel Furtado Martins (Portugal)
Fotografia em Tempo de Emergência
A vida vivida de um Lar Residencial Senior em Lisboa. De repente, o mundo ficou de pernas para o ar. Apesar da ameaça, há muito latente, de um vírus conhecido, designado internacionalmente por Corona Vírus, ninguém parecia, ou melhor, ninguém estava preparado para enfrentar uma tal ameaça à escala global,
Pandemic Postcards from an early future
We have received mysterious postcards from the future, addressed to the citizens of our virulent times. They are stories of epidemics that affect our present and recent past on this planet. I put together the best clues and tried to rearrange the information. A message? A suggestion? A warning or a joke of the space-time dimension? Who cares. Here they are. There are ten of them, and more might arrive.
Nicolás Carvalho Ochoa (Spain)
THE NEIGHBOR’S HANDS
The coronavirus crisis and the collapse of the Spanish economy turned a network of small organizations and neighborhood entrepreneurs in Barcelona into crutches to help homeless people and families whose economy was already hanging on a rope and suddenly became submerged by job losses and the lack of income.
A small gym with social purposes, a parish that protects the homeless, a small organization that looks more like a family, a self-organized group of neighbors who bring groceries to other neighbors, and a group of young citizens who work for the affected communities. All are trying to ease the impact of the pandemic in the city, which in Spain took more than 28,500 lives by far and increased the unemployment to 4 million people. While retail stores, bars and restaurants are reopening in the city and life seems to be returning to “normal”, the queues of people in need asking for a shower or food continue to grow in the streets of Barcelona. With its own resources and sometimes with donations from the government and NGOs, the neighbors and its networks do not stay home. Instead, they act as a protective net against the economic and social consequences of the spread of COVID-19.
Salym Fayad (South Africa)
Epicentre: A pandemic hits the most unequal society
South Africa entered one of the continent’s tightest lockdowns on 27 March. It was an early, preventive reaction. Very soon the paralysed economy bit the poorest sectors of one of the most unequal societies in the world. And in one of the most unequal cities, where the divide along racial and social classes is more evident.
Where segregations and the legacy of apartheid are still present, after 25 years of democracy, in the every day life of a city where displays of privilege and upmarket tourism share space with informal settlements where basic resources are non-existent for a majority. Cape Town has become the epicentre of the Covid pandemic at a continental level. Gender violence and police brutality, already alarmingly high in pre-Covid times, have spiked. The easing of the lockdown in June comes with an illusory return to normality, at a time when the number of cases grows exponentially and the country heads at full speed towards an uncertain peak. The health system is saturated, the economy fragile. And solidarity, however, is more alive than ever.
Souleymane Bachir Diaw
“Focal point” aims to represent the dialogues I went through between myself and the others while being physically isolated. In fact, this (ongoing) period makes me reconsider my relationship with the “Self” and the “Other”. Actually, it makes me wonder where is “I” ? Where is “You” ? Where is “We” ? Where is “They” ? It seems that the border between myself and the others were becoming thinner. It seems that I was becoming the “Other”.
This “natural phenomenon” came then to reconnect us, with us, with (our) nature. So ironic that during the period when we’re talking about social distancing, the social structure got somehow more united and compact. Then, paradoxically, being isolated gets us closer than we could expect. We started to be conscious (again) of our individual impact on the collective journey. Hence the photographs of apparently isolated elements but fundamentally and systemically linked in their actions and trajectories. Each element, as insignificant and abstract as it may seem, plays a primordial role in the ecosystem in which it intervenes. Abstraction is here a reminder of the need to transcend the material and physical limits of our beings and actions. This transcendence thus leads us towards this unique place where all potentialities meet, where we pass from disorder to order and where we stop to confuse means and ends and focus on humanistic goals. Finally, all the elements have to be thought globally, beyond their own “individuality”.
Ura Iturralde Larrañaga
AN OASIS INSIDE THE PANDEMIC
This work shows the daily life of cloistered nuns in the Basque Country, Spain, during the pandemic. AN OASIS INSIDE THE PANDEMIC They pray for us, for the ones that have lost their lives, for the end of the pandemic. Very little has changed in the daily life of cloistered nuns from Tolosa (Basque Country, Spain) whose days are strictly organised and scheduled.
This is the reason why during the lockdown they received many phone calls by people who felt lost within the four walls. The nuns have always been ready to give advice to anyone in order to face this lockdown in the best way possible; they are aware how privileged they are and the gravity of the situation of others. “WE NEVER FEEL BORED” Genoveva, Mikaela, Rosario, Lurdes and Gurutze live in this convent, always optimistic, praying to God for protection.
Valentin Bianchi (Belgium)
Croque la mort
A few months after China and several weeks after other hard-hit countries such as Italy, Belgium has to deal with this Covid19 pandemic which is devastating all over the world. Nothing seems to stop it, and some professions still have to continue their work. David Weise, 45 years old, is in charge of a small funeral home in the Outremeuse district of Liège.
This is a popular neighborhood where the Funeral Service team is well known to everyone. This funeral home, on a human scale, is known for the quality of its services. The size of the company was not adapted to such a pandemic. Yet the company thought it had seen others, founded in 1898, it is the fifth generation. This SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, no one had foreseen it and it struck with such force and so quickly. But David and his team are coping and trying as much as possible to provide quality service with humanity and respect. This is the company’s guiding principle and despite the crisis, it must continue to do so. The media has highlighted several professions during this pandemic. But at the Germay Funeral Home, everyone feels like they have been forgotten during the crisis. They are not the only ones, of course, but the lack of help from the government and the obligation to continue funeral services without a minimum of logistical support is really complicated. Between March 18th and May 26th, more than 80 deaths had to be dealt with. By way of comparison, they usually handle about 20 deaths per month. And they no longer count deaths from pneumonia and other respiratory sceptic shocks. Some death notices listed the causes of death even before lockdown. This suggests that the team may have been managing bodies with this virus before containment began. As a reminder, lockdown began on March 18th in Belgium.
In the hospital
I am a general surgeon in a district hospital in Turkey. During the Pandemic just like the whole world , our hospital also had major changes all around. During the Covid-19 crisis in my free time I’ve tried to show doctors, nurses and the whole hospital staffs’ devotion and dedication towards people through my lens.
Because1 of the ethical reasons , I didn’t include any of the patience or their families. I strictly covered hospital staff in my Project. I dedicate my work to the healthcare and hospital staff all around the world. And show them that they are neither alone nor unappreciated .
The worldwide spread of Covid-19 can be seen as a consequence of the approximately 500-year history of globalisation, which began not least with the circumnavigation of the African continent by European seafarers. Against this backdrop, we focussed our attention on the two continents and invite photographers from Africa and Europe (including all Mediterranean coastal states) to submit their works on the effects of the Corona pandemic.
We asked for images that explore how Covid-19 has influenced and changed our lives, whether in relation to your personal experience or with an investigative topic. There have been no thematic, stylistic or technical restrictions. The only condition was to deal with the corona crisis.
Corona Call is a project by Sana Sanaa – Intercultural Dialogues on Art, in cooperation with European Photography, Oath Magazine, CAP Prize for Contemporary African Photography, Akoia & Co, Kigali Center for Photography, The Nlele Institute and Artificial Image.
Sana Sanaa’s goal is to generate an open dialogue about art via exchanges from one part of the world to another. Our intention with this photography open call is to continue this dialogue by hosting twin events; like exhibitions of the results in both Africa and Europe. The resulting shows will be a physical manifestation of our continued efforts at Sana Sanaa to connect both continents through art.