Inside The Living Cell
Inside The Living CellMasoome Bahrami
A crisis on the scale of the Coronavirus Pandemic can dramatically reorder society, for better or for worse. It can reorder everything in my environment from my father's face to the infrastructure of my city. From the garden next door to the local cemetery. On both micro and macro levels, a lot of meanings have changed
In February 2020, Iran reported its first confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Since then coronavirus has spread quickly to other cities. Mazandaran, my city, has become one of the most dangerous and was marked with a red zone warning because of its amount of Covid19 cases.
As a photographer with a lot of fears, I was confronted with many strange and unexpected moments, decisive moments, and indecisive ones just like in a transition state. I feel as if I am in a tunnel-like transition state between my life before and after Corona. I first started taking photos in my house in the confines of my family, then I decided to take a risk and leave quarantine.
Just as personal encounters with mortality can transform a person’s life, a societal encounter with mortality has the potential to transform the life of a society. Thus, I want to look for this transformative potential in society. What happened outside during this transitional state? My people have endured a lot of hardship over the last years in Iran, and now corona. What are the various actions and reactions? During the days that every 10 minutes one person died because of the pandemic in my country how are those minutes spent? Death is a common experience that can make all members of the human race feel their common bonds and their shared humanity. For a doctor, a labor worker, victims’ family, my father, and even myself, etc. All of these moments surrounding this transformation reminded me of a quote by Viktor FRANKL: life has meaning in all circumstances, even the most miserable ones. This means that even when a situation seems objectively terrible, there is a higher-order that defines meaning.
This project is the result of my efforts during these times, and the questions that emerged along the way: I've tried to find answers to my questions in all of these pictures. Although, for me, it felt more like a journey in between the worlds of the many images with which I lived. The world changed because of the deepest crisis of the last century.