chiara ceolin

The house on the moon. Children's dreams in covid-19 lockdown
Location: London, UK
Nationality: Italy
Biography: Photography for me is a tool to dig deep and promote change. It is my way to explore humans, listen to them and tell their stories. Listening with my eyes is the essence of my work and it means engaging with my subjects and unveil something... read on
Public Story
The house on the moon. Children's dreams in covid-19 lockdown
As the lockdown started my main worry was to preserve my children's mental health and my own. If I wanted to support my kids to process all the changes in their lives, I needed a way to manage my own frustrations such as jobs cancellations and home schooling. When I turned my attention towards my children's dreams I discovered a new world worth being explored.
The Covid-19 pandemic wrapped our lives in a layer of uncertainty and anxiety. My partner, a NHS intensivist, had to take the drastic decision to move out of our family home to protect us and continue working.
For us three remaining, Maia (5yo), Simone (3yo) and me, what remained most of all was anxiety and a daily life to reinvent. My sleep became very disturbed while my children, too young to articulate their resulting feelings, expressed their discomfort through tantrums, nightmares, lack of concentration and sadness. I suddenly found myself witnessing all this happening at home. 
My children were changing in front of my eyes. Simone channeled his fears into his dreams. Every night his dreams were populated by monsters, isolation and deep sadness. If it is true that nightmares are common in children aged 3 to 6 years old (NHS), it is also a reality that nightmares can be caused by something that is worrying the children (NHS) as it is the lock-down.
Maia on the other hand found a way to preserve her dreams filled with flowers, bubbles and seaside, however, her days turned into a confusing storm. 
Then I started asking them about their dreams every morning. Their imaginary completely enthralled me and I felt the urge to create and visualise parts of them. As my husband left, Simone started saying "daddy's house is on the moon". How lonely and far away did he feel? 
We started working together on how to photograph their dreams and fears, it became a game that was making us all feel better.
This is how we started to turn their dreams into imagery and by doing so we found a way to turn their fears into something positive and fun.

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