Reflecting on Isolation and Social Distancing through Photography

What does isolation mean to us? How do we feel about it once it’s imposed and our freedom is taken away? Torn between being a responsible member of society by staying at home and the feeling of losing our freedom of action, photographer and director Anna Radchenko visually explores the concept of mental and physical isolation through two capsule-photography series.

The first set, titled The Melancholy Rooms, was originally created as part of exhibition space. The stills focus on the idea of living in a hyper-connected society, in which technology plays a vital role in how we relate to one another. Our devices are meant to bring us closer, but often the result is broader and more superficial relationships leaving us feeling disconnected. It’s only when the chance to meet in real life is taken away that we begin to fully understand the value and potential of this technology.

The second project, Baby Cribs, looks at physical isolation and how in these trying times we tend to revert back to our most basic needs. As the government imposes an increasing number of restrictions, we give up all control and almost regress to a state of infancy in the belief that we’ll be looked after and cared for. Feeling imprisoned, alienated and powerless, our homes reflect the extent of our freedom and control.

Artist’s Statement:

Although these photos were shot before the international lockdown, they’ve become even more relevant in the current landscape. We find ourselves in an alternative reality, where we have to change our habits and some of our traits as we are spending so much time on our own. Much of what we took for granted, including the freedom to leave our homes, go to work and meet people, has been replaced by a growing feeling of uncertainty and confinement. But this has also meant reassessing our values, as we now place more importance on reconnecting with people. A simple “How are you?” is now a loaded and meaningful question, rather than just an informal greeting.

About Anna Radchenko

Anna Radchenko is an award-winning director and multidisciplinary artist from Moscow, who now lives in London. She specialises in short films, music videos, commercials, mixed media editorial projects and art installations. Graduating with a distinction in MA Fashion Photography from London College of Fashion, Radchenko’s films have been selected by some of the world’s major fashion and short film festivals including Berlin Commercial, Underwire, Aesthetica and LA Fashion Festival. In terms of vision, she uses surreal ideas to create content that is both optically arresting and memorable. Anna is represented by Kode Media in the UK.

Photography by Anna Radchenko / / Instagram: @anna_radchenko

Make-up by Olga Zvereva, Galina Mahacheva, Galina Pashinina

Set designers: Taya Dodina and Zolotoya Staya