Die Wanderung
Analog photography, medium format

During the second lockdown that started last November 2020 I made different walks throughout Berlin in search of some kind of human contact and new forms of socialization.

This series of photos presented reflect about a specific time where we were forced to pause, to stop activities in order to take care of ourselves and to be able in the future to resume a life more similar to the one we knew before. This new normality, where time seemed to slow down, led me to reflect also on my own practice as an artist. To rethink about how I connected with the outside world through my photographic device.

It is here that the term flâneur takes on great relevance as it becomes the only activity allowed to take place outside while everything else remains closed. The aimless wandering, which is often pejoratively referred to as “wasting time,” is for my photographic practice extremely essential and opened for me to new psychological and spiritual meanings.

Consequently, I decided to dedicate more time to the process of creating images in a current era where we are generating millions of images per second. I decided to go back to analog, having a limitation on the number of photos I could take with film, spending more time developing and finally scanning. I wanted to take fewer photos but spend more time on each one. It was a kind of therapy where I just needed to slow down.
The result is urban and natural spaces without human presence but with the footprints of other people strolling.

I imagine that this documentation may serve in the future to value quiet and silence, the need to pause and take time for reflection.

©Justina Leston