A Lockdown Photo in April
“I feel that it is important to spread the message about the healing qualities of nature… I want to share my discovery with others, to inspire people to go out, to walk in a forest or a local park, along the lakes and rivers, and to do it as regularly as they can.”Inna Alden
Inna’s Lockdown Project
‘My project is a first step to a possible book about my unexpected five month Lockdown in Swiss Alps. While there, I experienced the healing power of nature and of encounters with wildlife and realised how important the nature is for mental strength. I took a lot of photographs during that time, virtually daily. They document the awakening and transformation of the Alpine nature from early March through the end of July. My idea is to have an illustrated book, using my own photographs, with the text describing my feelings and encounters with wildlife while hiking in the stunning Alpine landscape.
The introduction of the Swiss lockdown was actually a relief. Measures were explained in simple terms, with distancing and hygiene charts displayed in every possible place, inside and outside, and felt reassuring. This gave the hope that people would follow the rules to survive and that the situation might improve eventually. Locally, people were encouraged to go for walks in nature, but only on their own. There was a lot of space to walk without seeing anyone, endless trails all around. As the winter followed by the spring and then the summer, it was amazing to observe the awakening of the Alpine nature and to meet wild animals typical for each month. I took a lot of photographs during my walks, virtually every day. I shared them on Instagram and Facebook, and I got a feedback that they also helped others in their Lockdown and gave them hope.
A realisation that I cannot return home and be back with my friends made me feel that I lost control over my choices, and this uncertainty was initially difficult to accept. The skiing area where I was staying had become one of the clusters of infection. Several people I knew developed symptoms after I met them, some of them severe, and one even died. This was definitely a cause for anxiety, it became risky to be with other people, or even near them.
I feel that it is important to spread the message about the healing qualities of nature and of encounters with wild animals, that I have personally experienced. I want to share my discovery with others, to inspire people to go out, to walk in a forest or a local park, along the lakes and rivers, and to do it as regularly as they can. I feel that the art needs to send a positive message and to offer a way to dealing with problems, whatever they are in the world around us.’
To learn more about life in Swiss lockdown, read Inna’s essay My Apline Lockdown, Month by Month:
Text and images © Inna Alden