Diary of Quarantine by Arale Reartes

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I’ve learned two things during this long quarantine. I’ve realised how much I needed some time to be at home and think about myself --it is not always easy to step out of our daily routines. And also, that it is a great privilege to be able to spend these days at home, cooking, playing the piano, taking care of myself while we all take care of each other. I feel truly fortunate about all the good things that this quarantine has brought to me, like this self-portrait series.

I have always loved to play with the camera and myself, but I hadn’t been able to do it as often as I’d like to. Over these past weeks at home, I focused my practice on reconnecting with the essence of self-portrait. There’s no need to show your face, neither to give a clue for those who are willing to recognise you. You just need to engage in an open conversation with your inner self. Sometimes you are looking for yourself, and other times, you reconnect with yourself. This is what happened to me.

I recalled how much I enjoy taking photographs, how alive it makes me feel. Many times during these past weeks I wondered: Why do I take photos if it’s not an essential activity? Because taking photos has to do with who I am, it comes from deep inside of me.

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I worked on this series during the first week of spring, quarantined in my home in Barcelona’s Gothic quarter. Thin rays of sunlight squeezed through the window for barely 15 minutes –the streets are narrow in the neighbourhood, so the rest of the day was quite dark inside. Exploring this mysterious relation between myself, my space, the light, and the shadows, I was able to find some truth.

Words and Pictures by Arale Reartes