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Photograph of the year stopped

Remember when? You probably don’t.

In January, Jay-Z opened up about how he was using Roc Nation to harness the power of the NFL to direct energy and money towards social justice initiatives like ending police brutality.

Learn more here.

Andrea Rahal, a participant in the Miss Muslimah contest, spoke of participating in an American rite without having to compromise one’s faith.

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In February, a coterie of veterans, gamers, history buffs and gun enthusiasts gathered in California for an immersive military simulation event.

Learn more here.


Usually a photograph captures a moment in time and space. But this year, time and space were slippery and springy. In the United States, things started off fairly normally. January and February were the center of attention: vision 2020. But in March, time and space took on new implications and contexts. Time was running out in days of lockdown; space, measured in one-safe six-foot increments from each other.

Soon the days seeped together, liquefied like clockwork in a painting by Dalí. Strangeness, fear and tragedy have permeated every aspect of daily life and, of course, into the photographic record of it.

Suddenly all over the world it wasn’t just about what was photographed, but How? ‘Or’ What. The subjects were masked. The photographers wore PPE. The images were taken from a distance – from the end of the hall, through a window or via a phone screen.

Before long, scenes that seemed quite ordinary – a crowd of humans; hands touching a woman’s face; an intimate portrait in a bedroom – were newly overwhelmed by the heavy subtext of a new reality. Just as once upon a time we would have gripped our pearls in plain sight of an ankle, we are now mildly outraged by what was once very common social behavior. So close! Is it safe? It must be from The Before Times. Often it is linked to a twinge of sadness. Do you remember when we were drinking cocktails together? In the same room? Anxiety and loss covers it all, and the simplest actions are steeped in fear.

In May, on assignment for The New York Times, photographer Elliot Ross sent disposable cameras to six residents of Evergreen Gardens, an assisted living facility in Colorado. One image, of Muriel Morgan, 93, stands out.

In front of a stone building and a end of the alley, a woman sits on a wooden chair, her face turned to the camera. She has a walker in front of her and she wears sunglasses and a cloth mask that covers her nose and mouth. Beyond her there are more wooden chairs, at clearly measured distances. One is empty. Two others are occupied by more masked people. In the foreground, as a bunch of balloons enter the frame, a toddler is looking at least six feet away.

The colors produced by the film infuse a vintage aura, rubbing against a veneer of nostalgia. Another time warp, another melted clock. Yet it is indeed a picture taken in 2020 – of a very 2020 situation. Last December, we may not have understood it. Why is the chair on the street? Why is everyone so far away? Why the masks? Now it all makes sense. We have been trained to understand a new visual language.

Sometimes when something wild and unexpected happens, we joke about a tear in the space-time continuum. As if some sort of quantum sci-fi futuristic wormhole phenomenon was the only logical explanation. Looking back on photos taken during this troubled year, as we slip into a new one, you won’t see the tiny microbe that changed everything. You won’t see the photographer’s protective gear or the paranoia in the air. But you will see that we have continued. We continued. The clock was melting, but it kept ticking.

“ It feels like taking turns being cherished and ravaged, pulled and gently slapped and firmly squeezed – like pizza dough that has fallen on a human skeleton and now has to be rubbed into the skeleton to hide this mistake. ”

Caity Weaver wrote about Carrie Lindsey’s famous $ 285 facial massage on Instagram about a month before spas closed during the coronavirus shutdown in New York City. Learn more here.

Sex educator Betty Dodson was seeing her work take on new resonance during the pandemic even before the New York Department of Health said “you are your safest sex partner” in a widely circulated memo.

She was one of the countless cultural figures who died in 2020. Read more here and here.

“Anarchy and potential dental emergency – and not necessarily in that order.”

In April, Larry David spoke to Maureen Dowd about his fears about the pandemic. Learn more here.

Photographer Daniel Arnold documented New York City every day for the first five months of the coronavirus outbreak, creating the timeline of a historic semester.

Learn more here.

“My boss called me yesterday. I work in a hotel as a cleaning lady and it is very dangerous for me. When I work I have to protect myself with gloves. I also sometimes wear a mask when doing a deep cleansing. When it’s over, I want to continue, but I’m scared. Because if they can’t find the cure or the vaccination, you must continue to protect yourself. Especially since I travel on this train every day. These trains are sometimes disgusting. Sometimes I get tired after seven hours of work, but I try not to sit down. I need to protect myself. “

Emma Ayala, 57, spoke in May about her battle with the pandemic, from her home in the Jamaican neighborhood of Queens, NY. To learn more, click here.

Count to four as you inhale. Take a break. Count to five as you exhale. May each breath be long, gentle, full and deep. Repeat this 10 times.

In the spring, Tara Brach and other mindfulness guides provided tips for ten-step eco-therapy meditation. Find out here.

Elementary teachers accessed Wi-Fi from their classroom parking lots in Port Angeles, Washington.

Interactions with colleagues and friends have changed a lot over the year. Learn more here.

Pamela Anderson, isolated on Vancouver Island, became the face of a “cam site” and accepted a photoshoot via FaceTime.

Learn more about his year here.

Photographer Andre D. Wagner and writer Kiese Laymon explored childhood and nostalgia for freer summer seasons.

Learn more here.

Weddings never left. They just got a lot smaller.

Ilana Ozernoy and Nina Mouritzen got married on July 4 in Central Park in front of 12 guests (instead of 70). Learn more here.

Adraint Bereal, a recent University of Texas at Austin graduate, photographed several of his peers – including Jordan Walters, center – for a project called The Black Yearbook.

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TikTok influencers have continued to form collaborative houses – lavish dorms where young stars live, work and scramble to expand their social media empires – throughout the pandemic.

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“I was always raised, by my mom, my chick, the wonderful strong women in my family, of that strong ancestry to understand that whatever I was going to do, I had to do it 110%.

At 50, supermodel Naomi Campbell reflected on her heritage. Learn more here.

“I have never spent so much time with myself; becoming my own favorite companion is a new and strange thing for me.

Texas photographer Isaiah and novelist Akwaeke Emezi explored intimacy in isolation. Learn more here.

Stress buying has reached new heights as Americans have bought all the toilet paper, baker’s yeast, and even the chicks.

But novelist Laila Lalami and photographer Leonard Suryajaya have found solace in certain types of collections. Learn more here.

Many months of homework have left the company’s offices, including ours, strangely empty (save for the occasional creature).

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This year, many professionals – personal trainers, hairdressers, tattoo artists, pet groomers, and spiritual counselors – began making house calls to greet clients who were afraid to venture out.

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At Crissy Field in San Francisco, when the city was locked up, kitesurfing became something of a spectacle for the repressed locals.

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Owning a car in New York and the surrounding metro area was once a rarity. But the pandemic has suddenly made city dwellers suspicious of public transport wanting to be able to move on their own terms.

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Long queues, once rare at luxury boutiques, open-air markets and hair salons, have become a familiar rite of consumption this year as shoppers return to physical storefronts.

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Fletcher Greene, who runs the Hollywood Fix, used to photograph all kinds of celebrities. In March, A-listers went into hiding, but many influencers remained in sight.

The paparazzi opened up about their new reality in August. Learn more here.

Christmas arrived very early on TikTok, as young people yearned for a bit of comfort and joy in this dreary year.

Learn more here.

“ I skip 20 and just feel good but some of my friends do two and feel stoned I don’t know why. It’s not high like a marijuana high. It’s a high, like, relaxed CBD. ”

In September, Martha Stewart opened up about her lovely quarantine, edibles and everything. Learn more here.

In September, a New York Fashion Week like none before. Christian Siriano, for his part, held his spring 2021 show at his home in Westport, Connecticut.

Learn more here.

On the Parisian catwalks, designers like Rick Owens embraced the surreality of 2020.

Learn more here.

Artificial intelligence “puts the onus on all of us to be better humans, because you know, humanity, in 10,000 years, humanity might be long gone.”

In October, Claire Boucher aka Grimes was photographed on FaceTime on an iPhone and reflected on artificial intelligence and the future. What will the next hundred years bring? Learn more here.

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