"Life in Quarantimes" is a collection of photo essays by students of the first Leap Photography Class, instructor: Christina Felschen
Leap is a social learning network for people 55+ who want to build meaningful relationships through shared interests.
Going Towards Fire, Dawn Hutchinson
Dawn Hutchinson experienced the Corona summer in light of another crisis: the wildfires that ravaged the US American West more intensely than ever before. The GIS specialist provides maps to firefighters in the camps - and used this unique access to photograph the dedication and exhaustion of people working to fight wildfires on the frontline in her essay "Going Towards Fire".
Solitude: Covid-19, Anita Baker
In her essay "Solitude: Covid-19", Anita Baker captures the effect of Covid-19 on Mill Valley and the Marin and Sonoma coasts where she lives. She finds moments that evoke a tug on the soul, where the solitude of nature and a small town shifts into a feeling of isolation with physical distancing and upheavals of the virus. The gradual return to aspects of a more normal life was shattered by devastating wildfires in Northern California, and she continues with documenting the eerie, smoky skies and feeling of an impending apocalypse. The photos were taken starting the second week of March, when the lockdown began, through October 2020.
SkateNation: Rolling smoothly into society, Meta Lagerström
In her essay "SkateNation: Rolling smoothly into society", Meta Lagerström captures how the culture of skateboarding overrides cultural differences.
In late 2015, many refugees came to Sweden and other parts of Europe. Several of them were unaccompanied teenagers who had left their homes and walked all the way to Sweden.
In spring 2016, her son founded Stockholm SkateNation. A skater since he was 12, he knows that riding a skateboard demands stubbornness and focusing. It is a way to shut off all other thoughts, if only for a short time. Many of the refugee kids carried horrible memories.
SkateNation welcomes everybody, no matter their age, gender, religion, or ethnicity. The young refugees who came picked up skateboarding quickly. They were given the opportunity to be trained as coaches and in their turn assist young kids who want to learn.
This photo essay focuses on the friendship of her son with one of the former refugee boys, Hazrat. His family had fled from the war in Afghanistan to Iran where they had lived illegally. The Iranian government, aware of these illegal inhabitants, wanted to use young boys among them as ”shields” in the war. Hazrat decided to flee, with a death sentence hanging over him. Today Hazrat speaks Swedish, currently attends vocational training, has a permanent visa, and will in a few years have Swedish citizenship.
From my shelter to your screen, Anne DeGheest
In her essay "From my shelter to your screen", Anne DeGheest shows how her life's bubble shrank to her house, husband and two dogs under the 2020 California shelter-in-place. Her office looks like an air traffic controller command center, her German shepherds are her faithful and furry companions and her husband becomes her new - and only - model legally available.
How San Francisco's Chestnut Street was transformed during the Covid-19 pandemic, Maurice Franco
Around mid-March 2020, the reality of the COVID-19 threat became clear. The usually vibrant and fun San Francisco’s Marina district’s commercial corridor started to show the effects of the global pandemic:
Significant drop in financial activity and tourismGradual increase in business permanent closuresIncrease in homelessnessRestaurants and bars not permitted to provide indoor servicesClosure of all Gyms, Yoga and Pilates studiosIncrease in crime and burglariesClosure of our two movie theaters
As we started to understand our options, the resiliency and creativity of the neighborhood started to manifest:
Active social distancing by individuals doing business in our streetMandatory use of masks by workers and the public entering any open businessMajor shift towards take out and home delivery options by bars and restaurantsDevelopment of online platforms for exercise, yoga, meditation and various activitiesThe gradual erection of creative “parklets”, invading parking spaces and associated to struggling restaurants and bars, to allow them to provide outdoor services
In the last three decades, the most serious threat that the The Marina District had to overcome was the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. A few years after that event, little traces of such devastation remained.
Once again, with a better understanding of this virus, the number of vaccines becoming available, more experience on how to treat the disease and a new federal administration; the neighborhood will survive and slowly rise to new levels.