One of the most evident impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic has possibly been the travel restrictions, affecting relationships and world economies that depend on the global displacement of goods and people, which in turn has left many without livelihoods and in some cases, stranded far from their homes and families. For those who have had the good fortune of being secure, we have been forced to take a closer look at our immediate environment and to re-evaluate our closest relationships. Many of us have had to re-calibrate our lives, adapting to the ‘new normal’ and nostalgic for a time that we may never go back to.
The photobooks presented here invite you to explore themes of travel in photography & book-making practices, within the context of confinement and as juxtaposed with liberty.
If we think of Homer’s Odysseus who makes his journey back home after the Trojan war, or Tennyson’s Ulysses who travels away from home for the sake of travel itself, both represent a kind of nostos from different stages in their lives. For Odysseus, the journey is a homecoming, to his kingdom and his family. The trials he has to face before he settles down for the rest of his life in his own domestic environment, the knowledge and experience gained as a consequence of this circumstance, are his adventures. For Ulysses, the domestic place is one of boredom and travel is the escape, the adventure and limits of knowledge are experiences to strive for to give meaning to what is left of his life. They both want a return to a life which they can never truly go ‘back’ to because time and experience have altered their identities, and also the places from their memories.