Gold Winner

Unfamiliar Distance

Photographer

Annie Bungeroth

Category

Special Category - Covid-19 Related Photography

Company

Annie Bungeroth

Submission Group

Professional

Year

2021

Country / Region

United Kingdom

Home after lockdown in Peru, I had 2 weeks quarantined in the garden shed – time to try and make sense of what was happening in the world. I became fascinated with the idea that behind hedges and fences 1000s of families and individuals were experiencing some new bizarre reality.



I wanted to find a way of recording these lockdown tableau – familial moments that I was in no way part of. I kept going back to Shizuka Yokomizo’s 1990s project ‘Dear Stranger’ when the artist invited strangers to pose in their windows at an invited time – no words were exchanged.



I wrote inviting people to contact me – in a time of forced separation it seemed too cruel to not engage in some sort of conversation. I made myself a set of restrictions and limitations acknowledging the government guidelines: I stayed within a mile of home, used my hours exercise time to photograph. I maintained a 2 metre distance from everyone except when I was photographing through glass. I didn’t accept anything from the people I visited and I didn’t enter any buildings.



A very different lockdown than many and quite a privileged one. The last year has seen multitudes of wealthy city dwellers flock down to the south west to buy into this lifestyle but sadly pricing many locals out. .



I carried on photographing during subsequent lockdowns, adapting my way of working with the changing norms. By getting the people involved to write about their lockdown experiences it became apparent the common fears and anxieties that were emerging as the initial magic of the lockdown waned and everyone wondered apprehensively about the future.



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