When news broke of a novel coronavirus in 2019, few could have predicted the devastating effects it would have on the world. It took a few months for COVID-19 to really gather momentum but once it did, infection rates were out of control.
At this point, a global pandemic had been declared. Practically every country in the world began enforcing lockdowns or recommending self-isolation to restrict movement. It was becoming abundantly clear that basic liberties which once seemed so trivial had been taken by granted. Our lives were being affected – and still are – by the biggest shake-up since World War II.
In Mexico, Bénédicte Desrus took this opportunity to craft a photo series documenting this change with her 3-year-old son as the subject in a temporary home in Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico. COVID-19 is an invisible foe, but the effect on our lifestyle is very much conspicuous.
She wondered how the pandemic might affect Thiago: “With this pandemic and his school closed, my son experienced big changes. He barely saw another child for months. He kept saying that he misses his school, his teacher Lise and his friends. I wonder what the psychological effects of social distancing will have on him – and other kids of his age – during such formative years, and how he will remember this time in the future.”
When I grow up is a photo series which candidly follows the life of Thiago during self-isolation. At an age which is often dominated by socialisation and exploration, Thiago cuts a rather solitary figure.
Bénédicte Desrus is a Marseille-based photographer for Sipa USA.
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