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Hajni Petrof


Woman covering her face with her hand

I've started a project, focusing on mental health during the first lockdown in the UK (2020). The basic concept was to take photos through or in the windows, but to seriously zoom on the mental effects of the lockdown. I unfortunately had a complete computer breakdown, and lost most of those photos, and went totally discouraged. Then at November 2020, I bought my new camera, which opened a totally different door for me. I was able to shoot more professionally then before. Since the restrictions went even more serious, I wasn't able no more to take window shoots, and felt stuck. I wanted to express the agony, anxiety, depression, fear and frustration around the pandemic, I wanted to share my despair, hoping that my audience will find something what can help them to survive or face with their emotions. I've taken a lot of self-portraits, but didn't go any further. Then this January, I've pulled out those images from my scratch folder, and started working seriously on them, after the government announced the third (and most restricted) lockdown in the UK's pandemic-history. I felt down. More down than ever in 2020, I felt stuck, anxiety kicked in, and I couldn't find any other way to express my emotions (and to survive) than go mad and try something I've never done before. I wanted to understand these emotions. I wanted to face with them and more importantly, I wanted to accept their presence as part of me. I knew the risk of exposing my social media with these images. I knew they will get a lot of negative comments, I knew they will be triggering (and you haven't seen those I've taken and scratched this year yet) and that some people will suffer because of these images. But I had to take the risk of being this vulnerable, to allow people seeing inside of my head because I just had to. And that's how I've got a whole Mental Health Series project, dedicated to COVID and the pandemic. I don't know where this journey will lead me to. I don't know if I help with this to anyone. But I know that we need all sources we have to survive and for me, this is surviving. The window pictures have been taken and edited in 2020. The one with the blurry window and the shadow swallowing up the person, and the red liquified self-portrait have been taken in 2020, but edited in 2021. The rest, as part of the project, have been taken and edited in 2021.

Size:4000px x 6000px
Camera Used:SONY - ILCE-7M3
Shoot Date:January 22, 2021 10:07 PM
Posted Date:February 6, 2021 1:24 AM