In my late thirties, I moved to a new country to start from scratch once again. The officer who verified my paperwork said we were born the same day; she was about to retire in a few years. I was starting a new journey.
Many people from all over the world move in knowing that London is not the land of opportunity, but the island of hard work and responsibility. In estimate, there are over 250 different languages in London. With a diverse community this vast, we are all together but alone on our journey away from home.
There is a strange sense of loneliness in this lively and busy city. People seem to be connected to their phones rather than people or the city itself.
Loneliness affects the mental health of millions of people, yet many feel ashamed to talk about it. Some studies indicate that an average of 30% of British people are embarrassed to say they feel lonely. That can be a leading factor in preventing people from coming forward and seeking help.
To discover the city, I took long walks and photographed people in their daily life on the street. But instead of focusing on strange or vivid characters, I have chosen to slow down and take my time. Wondered how people deal with their loneliness or do they even realise how it affects their life quality; I waited for the moment to place them in a story, theirs or mine.
In 2019 during a walk near the Regents Canal, I saw a man walking with one hand on the bushes. He suddenly stopped and leaned against a specific leaf. I realised that he was blind and whispered some words to this leaf. He was caressing the leaves. At first, I thought he was on the phone call. But as I passed them, with no sign of a wireless headset or phone, I noticed that he was talking to a leaf. Moments like this teach a lot about how necessary it is for people to share their feelings and ideas with someone.
What began as a personal journey of adaptation has turned into images that resonate with overwhelmed people in a fast-paced city to question our loneliness.