14 May 2020

life skills

One fascinating consequence of the advent of social distancing is an acute appreciation of our bodies in proximity to others. It's second nature to me, and it's been a major motivation for my work, so it's really interesting to observe this go mainstream. I'd love to find out how different cultures are adapting to these circumstances. Is the motivation purely self preservation or a more altruistic? A recent article by Gia Kourlas, the New York Times dance critic poses a great question How are we using our bodies to navigate a pandemic? 
Two figures in London street

Ways of walking is for the moment no longer an independent exercise in getting from A to B. It's now reliant on mutual cooperation, overt or implicit, akin to the social nuances of a Regency society ball. Head-on passing by is sometimes facilitated with eye contact or gesture. The more agile take it upon themselves to pre-empt any confusion and step into the road. This is also a shrewd tactic when overtaking but that domain is replete with the risks of incurring a worse fate by crossing the path of a newly habilitated cyclist or jogger. 
link to my Museum of London street photography show selection
How long this behaviour lasts for, like a lot of our new ways of living at the present time, is a matter of conjecture. Situational awareness is no bad thing. Consideration of who we share the streets with, those levelling moments, are a force for change. How we share those streets again is no longer an April Fool.

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