Netherlands   |  2022

Silver Winner

Easter house party

Photographer

Goran Turnsek

Category

Special Category - Covid-19 Related Photography

Company

Goran Turnsek photography

Submission Group

Professional

As if secret activities were taking place, at illegal parties or social gatherings: these are the snapshots that photographer Goran Turnsek took during the lockdown between March 2020 and June 2021. Because snapshots are what they are, impressions of a unfree, oppressive time. Illegal house parties have replaced the big parties, which was the influence of Covid-19. We have turned into a locked herd, Turnsek explains, where the government takes care of our health and we are at the mercy of pharmaceutical industries. Recently, Turnsek has been reminiscent of the HIV epidemic in the 1980s. While it was then mainly the gay community that lived under the spell of the fear of contamination, now it could happen to anyone. Fear of contact, Turnsek calls it, while everyone was looking for contact. The fear of being yourself, as if you ended up in the closet again, while you passionately longed for freedom. Partying, cuddling and sex: it seemed to be a taboo. The parallel with AIDS is unmistakable: if there is one thing that belongs to the identity of gays, it is dance and outing. The downside that manifested itself in the HIV era was the guilt that arose among gays and that sometimes became visible in Corona patients. As if they were to blame for spreading the disease. Turnsek’s photos are sometimes deliberately abstract. Images of cozy dinners were suddenly out of the question on Instagram – instead, the selfie culture flourished. Being together was proof of irresponsible behavior. As a Slovenian, raised in an unfree society, Turnsek knows what it’s like to lead a hidden life as a gay man. And just when the first Gay Pride was celebrated in Maribor, everyone had to avoid each other again because this time the infection would mainly affect the elderly.

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