COVID-19: Combating social isolation through photography and community

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Title: Social Distancing: contagious
This was a self timer shoot, meaning I had to use a timer on my camera because I was alone. There are colorful handprints to represent the quick spread of the news through social media, and the contagious corona virus. The perspective through the paper represents creators breaking through restrictive times of isolation and quarantine.

Modern Renaissance

My name is Sophia, I live in Seattle, and an avid 16-year old social media user. Of course, I was ecstatic to hear that I would have no school or homework for over a month because of the coronavirus crisis; however, it wasn’t until about two days in when I started to feel the effects of not being able to see my friends. This is why the Covid-19 Photos For Teens was created.

The fact that my first year of high school was likely going to be cut short left me with a feeling of frustration and confusion. As of now, my school has not started online schooling, and I found myself in need of a reason to continue my personal growth. 

We see photographs every day. Billboards, posters, and cereal boxes are just some examples that exist everywhere around us. As a teenager living in the 21st century, a lot of our input received is through social media. Immediately, I turned to photography to cope with my substantial amount of free time. My eagerness for a creative outlet only grew, and I just wanted to have photoshoots with my friends. Isolation forced me to challenge myself creatively; now instead of being the photographers, I also had to become the model.

You’ll notice how most of the photos are of one person. Due to us being quarantined, we had to step out of our comfort zones and step onto the other side of the camera.

These past few days have felt different. It is a strange feeling knowing that billions of people are experiencing the same thing as you. I began to observe my similarities to people living on the other side of the world. Instantly, I was inspired by the surge of creativity coming from young people in a time of limits and restrictions. After all, we are living through textbook history times.

A photography contest for high school students had their results posted online, and the comment section was buzzing. Different teenage photographers from around the world were being incredibly supportive of one another, and I saw that many were like me. Lots of kids were searching for a way to express themselves through their photographs, and stay creating during these unique times. Using Instagram's messaging system, a small group of teen photographers was formed. All of us shared a thirst for new inspiration and the tenacity to continue documenting our lives with our photographs.

Constantly adding more and more photographers to the group, we connected through our passions, despite never meeting in person. On March 16, Covid-19 Photos For Teens was created. We are a group of 15 boys and girls from places such as Denmark, India, Canada, and the US. While adults are constantly warning us of the dangers of strangers on the Internet, I have found a community from all over the world that is helping me through a difficult time.

"Being of Asian descent, it's no secret that racism would be existent during these unprecedented times. But the good news is that kids my age have been able to seek comfort through having discussions with people who understand them."

Support, create and inspire each other

Covid-19 Photos For Teens is becoming known for our positive outlook on current situations. Our Instagram posts encourage kids to support, create, and inspire one another.

Regardless of who you are or where you live, we want to give you the opportunity to become a part of something and be inspired. I'm glad to say that we have been truly grateful for the positive feedback that we have received in the past two weeks. Although we might not have school at the moment, we are constantly teaching each other. If there is one thing I've learned, it's that it's incredibly easy to connect to new people through what you love.

Being of Asian descent, it's no secret that racism would be existent during these unprecedented times. But the good news is that kids my age have been able to seek comfort through having discussions with people who understand them.

A voice for young people who feel challenged

It's crucial to be able to talk about things like how the virus is affecting the youth in terms of mental health and prejudice. It's also vital to offer a creative outlet for us to explain our point of view. My hopes are that the account can be used as a voice for young people who feel anxious and challenged.

Kids everywhere are making an effort to understand the world as we grow into it. They’ve made a space where people our age aren’t afraid to speak about issues that are usually left to adults. With cameras for eyes and photos for words, the rise for a rebirth in the youth is brewing. I like to think of it as our version of a modern Renaissance. 

Please check out the beautiful photos created so far: https://covid19photosforteens.weebly.com/weekly-pics and follow us on Instagram
 

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Title: Not The Enemy
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