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Pandemic in Focus

How Lonely the City Stands

Robin Z. Boger | Massachusetts, United States

Frog Pond, Boston Common, Boston, MA

Twilight - a period of half-light - has long been used to symbolize the contrast between night and day as the repeated birth and death of the sun proved to the ancients the cyclical nature of time. Twilight can be a state of mind as well as a physical reality. In mythology, twilight is a time of ambiguity, when boundaries shift and the known becomes enigmatic and mysterious. More immediately, during the recent winter months, twilight was when our streets were filled with people returning home from work or preparing to enjoy an evening out together; it was a time of both personal and collective transition. We lived in accordance with a larger social rhythm having agreed-upon norms of conduct and compliance. Now, these streets are empty - the social rhythms disturbed. Has the impact of the current crisis transformed the implicit social contract we held with one another into something not yet recognizable?

I have felt compelled to document the current crisis by using time - twilight - and place - iconic, public spaces in Boston - to express my feelings about these events and the world in which my children and grandchildren will live. My images are meant to confront on many levels. They ask about the choices we, as a society, have made in the past and what we will prioritize going forward. They challenge us to reimagine how we will co-exist in the future. We live our lives within the context of our times. It is this - the life of our time - that these photographs attempt to memorialize.




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