All My People / All Mankind

All My People / All Mankind
by Oriana Spadaro

Covid has completely changed my life from one day to another. I found myself stuck in my hometown, could not go back to the city where I live and work. No job, no friends, no going out for almost 70 days. The life I knew before doesn’t exist anymore. But I decided to take this period of time as a personal challenge; I wanted to make the most out of it. So I filled my days with the things I like: photography above all. I have been studying and shooting everything I could within my poor means.

All My People / All Mankind is a series of portraits of friends in Italy and abroad, that I have been taking via webcam during quarantine. I have titled this project after a song by Liam Gallagher because it has a double interpretation. ‘All my people’ are the people of my life, whoever has been there during this difficult time, everybody in their own way. They are the people who have always sent a message to ask how I was or just to make me laugh. I have never felt so much empathy for people before like in this surreal and difficult time.

These photos are my tribute to them. This pandemic will be a distant memory one day, but I want to remember how they were. Each person has been photographed in his/her favourite corner of the house or while dedicated to his/her hobby or passion. The link between me and many of these people is music. My intention was to catch the empathic connection between me and them despite the distance and the devices (our webcams and my camera) dividing us.

‘All mankind’ is the second interpretation. Each person has their own story and the Covid emergency has had consequences on everybody’s life. Some of those people in the photos have been isolated for three months trying to protect their elderly parents, have struggled against the virus living in complete isolation without even going out to buy food, have lost their jobs, had planned to get married and could not, could not visit their families in other regions for months, had to work from home while taking care of a child.

These are universal stories in which everybody can recognise themselves. They teach us that mankind has a great power to adapt. Some people have started teaching online, have started home radio stations, have recorded music, have made drawings out of my photos, have volunteered. Together we have done photo shoots, guitar and yoga lessons, birthday parties. We have not given up, because life always prevails.

All words and photos © Oriana Spadaro

You can view Oriana’s previous In Focus feature here

3rd June 2020