Stranded in South Africa – Kept together by an iPhone by Glyn Davies
26 November - 2 December 2020
In March we flew to South Africa for a family wedding. Days after arriving the wedding was cancelled and there followed a total lockdown, including airspace. We couldn’t even leave the house and police patrolled the streets.
I suffered nightmares about the disease and dying alone in a municipal hospital thousands of miles from home. Although it was summer and we were staying with welcoming relatives in their lovely house, the feeling of impending doom, entrapment and helplessness in an increasingly fearful situation brought me close to a break down.
To keep occupied & focus my mind I began to photograph their lush garden using just my iPhone. There’s no view from the garden, so the garden WAS the view. Plants become jungles; the pool become an ocean. I started looking to the sky. I relished the only control I had, over composition and creating order out of chaos.
After a month trying to arrange a flight home, the British Embassy negotiated an emergency repatriation flight and our nightmare was over.
Freedom is everything. Being denied access to nature, family and the ‘right’ to get outside is for me at least, soul destroying. I’ve recognised that photography is so much more than a profession to me; it’s a need, a pacifier and a catalyst for clarifying thoughts. In such mentally dark times, making pictures became a therapeutic light.
The full detailed account can be read in the Q&A here
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Image © Glyn Davies