close button

Looking at loneliness

“Loneliness is personal, and it is also political. Loneliness is collective, it is a city.” (Olivia Laing) 

The idea of solitude and isolation is central to the culture of the city. Yet it is hard to believe that anyone could be lonely in the city, surrounded by millions of people. But urban loneliness is real. Loneliness is a subjective state and not necessarily about being alone. It can run deep in the fabric of a person, or it can be transient – a reaction to different external circumstances that sooner or later dissipates. Someone can be lonely in a crowd, if they feel disconnection. It’s not enough just to live in close proximity to others. We need to reach out and connect in order to form meaningful relationships or feel like we belong. Cities can be overwhelming places, full of anonymous strangers. Cities can be lonely places. With their layers of people, buildings, wires, cars, stairs and signs and lines, traffic networks and flows.  With their antisocial politeness – avoiding chats, hellos or smiles to avoid imposing on other people’s space. With the anonymity and freedom they offer; a freedom we all crave sometimes, but one that comes with a price. Loneliness can be difficult to confess to – and difficult to categorise. This body of work aims to address the complexity of urban loneliness, no matter the form it takes. By conjuring fragments or depictions of urban loneliness – photographed all over the world – the viewer is invited to confront this sense of solitude, and to question visual memory as a method of becoming aware.

No items found.