Photographer Tatenda Chidora On the Change of Perspective During Lockdown

With our world turned upside down, Lampost Rise photographer Tatenda Chidora has found himself seeing familiar scenes with a new perspective. Confined to his apartment in a densely built-up area of downtown Pretoria, he has been exploring this vantage point photographing unexpected aspects and views of the built environment that are overlooked in the rush of
daily life.

“I have never spent this much time in my apartment, life has slowed down for everyone, but this is a good time to reflect. Being alone allows you to think. It’s time to reset and count all my blessings. It’s beautiful how you can think without so much distraction from the outside – work, workmates, friends, family. So, just the silence has been so golden for me, giving me time to read and look for inspiration,” he says.

Forced into stasis and without the distractions of other people, Tatenda has focused his attention on the subtle details and daily rhythms of his environment. “I really enjoy the light path in my neighbourhood. It has been a while since I had sat down to observe this. We are at the tail end of summer running into winter and the skies are looking really beautiful,” he
explains. “Throughout the day I am constantly looking out the window watching how the sun beautifully kisses the walls in the early morning and late afternoon.”

Over the long days of lockdown, he has been following the movement of the sun and the resulting dance of shadows with his iPhone camera. The images document the slow passage of time, and the eerie silence of spaces that normally resound with the noises of people.

Once the sun sets, a new feature of this environment piques Tatenda’s curiosity. Night time creates a tapestry of artificial light and colours in the windows of adjacent buildings. “There are a lot of people where I stay and with them all indoors for once, I enjoy looking at the different colour temperatures at night when I look through windows. I wish
I had a telephoto lens!” Tatenda adds.

In this lockdown series, Tatenda quietly explores the intersection of the built environment and the people who inhabit it. For him, the photographs are about isolation, emptiness, solitude and personal space. While mostly absent of people, Tatenda’s images are haunted by the presence of all the lives being lived in this space. We’re reminded that even though we are isolated now, we are all together in this experience.

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