Portraits in the interior of Coronavirus

Shortlist 2020

Maria Ionova-Gribina

Maria was born in Moscow. She graduated from the College of decorative-applied art n.a. Carl Faberge, the School of Contemporary Art "Free Workshops" of MMOMA. Maria completed a course at the "Objective Reality" educational program. Currently, Maria works on personal projects and collaborate with "Takie Dela." Her works are part of the Moscow Multimedia Art Museum and Museum of Moscow collections. Maria's works were published in The Calvert, BBC, Guardian, The Times and others.

The Problem

Portraits in the interior of Coronavirus

My project "Portrait in the interior of Coronavirus" document human history in these difficult times. It's about Russians experiencing a pandemic in various parts of the world, from Moscow to Barcelona and Peru. 

In the beginning, many in my close circle didn't believe in the existence of COVID-19 and treated the situation lightly. No one wore the medical masks, everyone spent time outdoors socializing. When some of my friends got sick, I decided to share it on my Facebook page. By that time, I've already stayed at home almost all the time, so I started to photograph online using video-calls and the internet. 

At first, there were just portraits of people who got sick, but gradually the story got wider, and now I take portraits of doctors, volunteers; whose who couldn't return home due to border closure; whose who has been at home for a long period and can't go outside; newlyweds who got married during the pandemic; children who study online now; pregnant women who have to give birth during this difficult time. 

These portraits convey multiple human stories related to the global crisis due to the virus. All stories are short and personal. Like pixels or building blocks, together they form a collective portrait of a human and humanity of the COVID era.