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FROM HOME

30.03.2020

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We start our new From Home series, with the Colombian photographer Juan Cristóbal Cobo, who is currently self-quarantined with his father in Bogotá.

"For me, being confined allows me to think and reflect, not only about present events, but also about myself, my relationships, my family and life in general. The mirror serves as a tool to confront oneself, and also as a way to look at the outside world from the safety of inside my home.

We have been ordered to stay at home in mandatory quarantine until April 13th. The number of people testing positive for the virus has been growing since the first case was detected on March 6th. As everywhere in the world, the idea is to stop the spread of the virus as much as possible.

I've had my father staying with me since the start of the quarantine. Because of his age we decided it was best if he travelled from Cali to stay here in Bogotá with me. The day usually starts with us preparing coffee and having breakfast. We then discuss the information we get through the news, and we engage in long conversations about the state of things as we experience these events. I also keep in contact with my 23 year old son in New York and with other relatives and friends. Besides that, the situation has pretty much become an exercise in acceptance and patience. Things like looking out the window, seeing the light move through space, and other things like that have become very important.

I'm mostly known as a street photographer, and this situation is as opposite to that as possible. At first I thought I wouldn't to be taking any photographs, but that only lasted a few hours. I basically need to think through photographs, so I embraced the idea of developing a diary of these circumstances. I'm tackling subjects that are very distant to myself – like self-portraiture and intimacy. I've found the limitations liberating, and a very effective way for managing the emotions emerging at this time.

I miss walking in the city. I always walk at least 12 kilometres every day.

Curiosity keeps me going. This an extraordinary time to be alive, and we don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. I'm very curious to see how we, as humans, will be different when this is over."

Images: © Juan Cristóbal Cobo
Equipment: Leica M Monochrom with Summilux-M 25 f/1,4 Asph.

Juan Cristóbal Cobo

Cobo was born in Colombia and moved to New York as a teenager. His earliest passions were centred around film making, but after many years as a cinematographer and commercial director, he found himself strongly drawn to the art of photography. As an autodidact, he brings his years of knowledge to the still image, combining his understanding of light and composition with a passion for the story. Cobo is deeply curious about the people around him, and remains curious about himself and his own emotions; and he tries to connect these to his pictures.

Cobo's work has been featured in National Geographic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Science Magazine, Art Magazine, L’œil de la Photographie, among others.

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