Lockdown Portraits Session Nine

No expectations • Bente

August 15, 2020

Amidst the upheaval of the 2020 Corona Lockdown, I embarked on a personal mini project that became a testament to resilience: Lockdown Portraits. These are not just photos; they are glimpses into the lives of real people—individuals navigating the challenges and triumphs that isolation brings.

Each portrait tells a story, not of models, but of everyday heroes facing the ordeals of lockdown with courage and grace. To add depth to the visual narrative, I posed two questions to each participant, unearthing personal insights that accompany their portraits.

portrait of Thara, 2020

Can you describe to what extent the lockdown has affected your life and how? both on a personal and professional level?

Just a few months before the lockdown, end of 2019, I decided to work for myself as a freelancer, and start my own business. I decided that 2020 will be my ‘play’ year full of new experiences, personal growth and development. I took a sabbatical, travelled, chilled, but also worked, and my business was growing. Although still traveling, and chilling in Bali, in March most countries were closing their borders, I decided to shorten my stay, be with family and friends and return to the Netherlands. But it wasn’t any fun. When I was home in Amsterdam, the streets were empty, the bars were closed, I couldn’t hug my family and friends.

No parties, no gatherings, no social life, no dating life, no work, no traveling, but inherent to the lockdown.

But then I reminded myself the sentence Reinhold Niebuhr mentioned in his book “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”

I took this as an opportunity to reset the clock for myself, to take life as it comes, and be alone with myself and my own emotions, without any distractions.

If anything, what do you think will you take away from all this.any lessons learned?

Yes, to never expect anything. Even with such a tremendous world-wide global issue, people don’t change. And if they change, they don’t need any pandemic to do so, they would have done it anyway, because they wanted it.

In 2019 I made the plan that 2020 will be a year for personal- and developmental growth, exploration, not earning money, but just ‘play’, travel and chill. And nothing changed this plan, except that it felt that the whole world was joining me in this for maximum two months :-)