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Looking for Brighter Days

      Artist's Statement

      My focus for all three images in the collection was to capture how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped everyday life, specifically for adolescents. The photograph of the empty baseball dugout was taken toward the end of April at a high school in Cleveland, OH. Because of Ohio's notoriously harsh winters, the early months of spring typically bring excitement, as young people can finally spend time together outdoors. The abandoned baseball dugout and empty bleachers depicted on a sunny day, however, convey a sense of void that contrasts with the expectation of a field full of players. The photograph also portrays the absence of contact, in this case, through team sports, as a concerning effect of social distancing on the development of children. The photograph depicting my sister and me seated on the rooftop of our childhood home is intended to show some of the creative ways in which youth have occupied their time in isolation. The image is particularly meaningful to me because one of the few good things that has resulted from this pandemic is that my loved ones are all together in the same place. My sister and I attend colleges in different states, so if it were not for the nationwide lockdown, my family would be spread out across the country. Thus, although the pandemic has cast a tremendous shadow on many lives, it is possible to stay shielded from some of its far-reaching effects by cherishing the time we have been granted with those closest to us. In the final image, I use a shallow depth of field to capture the masked face of my sister. The blurry background to which she is looking in the photograph symbolizes the uncertainty of life after the pandemic. The presence of vibrant colors radiating from the blurriness, however, suggests that there will be brighter days in the future despite the effects of COVID-19.

      Biographical Statement

      Greta Cywińska is an undergraduate student at Duke University, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. At Duke, she is currently studying Neuroscience and Documentary Studies and hopes to pursue a career in the medical field.