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Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo

Photo series: When I grow up

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.

Documentary photo series about growing up in a lockdown - When I Grow Up
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Bénédicte Desrus / Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo
Documentary photo series about growing up in a lockdown - When I Grow Up
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Bénédicte Desrus / Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo
Documentary photo series about growing up in a lockdown - When I Grow Up
i
Bénédicte Desrus / Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo
Documentary photo series about growing up in a lockdown - When I Grow Up
i
Bénédicte Desrus / Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo
Documentary photo series about growing up in a lockdown - When I Grow Up
i
Bénédicte Desrus / Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo
Documentary photo series about growing up in a lockdown - When I Grow Up
i
Bénédicte Desrus / Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo
Documentary photo series about growing up in a lockdown - When I Grow Up
i
Bénédicte Desrus / Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo
Documentary photo series about growing up in a lockdown - When I Grow Up
i
Bénédicte Desrus / Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo

Bénédicte Desrus is a Marseille-based photographer for Sipa USA.

Sipa USA is a leading international media agency specialising in entertainment, news and sports content. Using staff photographers, partner agencies and contributors throughout the world, Sipa USA delivers the day’s news in real time. 

If you want to see more compelling stories from Sipa USA, you can check out their collection here.

Matt Yau

Matt started off as a live music photographer covering up-and-coming bands in Brighton, and since then has become enamoured by the power of pictures. With a penchant for storytelling, he's on a mission to uncover unique images from the Alamy library and tell the story behind them.

Read more from Matt