The Borders (2020)

The borders of most countries remain closed to tourists and “non-essential travel” for several months. But love is not tourism. #LoveisnotTourism and #LoveisEssential these hashtags on Instagram are used by people, many of whom are desperate to see their other half in 2020. Some of these people are married, have children (states have stopped giving visas for family reunion, or there are simply no air flights to the desired country). Some women are pregnant, do not know whether they will see their partners before the birth of the child and whether the partner will be able to attend the birth. Someone has lost their job, found himself in difficult conditions and needs the support of a partner, but he is not there. And some, unfortunately, broke up because of the distance.

The borders within Europe are reopened for domestic tourism, despite the presence of the coronavirus – for economic reasons. However, few politicians are interested in “couples affairs” – since summer 2020 13 countries, including Germany, Austria and France, one by one already opened up to unmarried couples, but, not every European country has done so (not speaking about US and Russia). Meetings of loving couples recognised as “non-essential” and banned – they have no economic benefit, therefore this problem turned out to be “forgotten” and ignored by most politicians.

I started to shoot separated couples making screenshots during Skype sessions in early May 2020 and have been working on it for three months now, not expecting the borders to remain closed for so long. The further I shoot, the more dramatic stories and desperate people I meet. Many of the heroes do not see perspective and are afraid that the second wave of coronavirus, will separate them for unknown time. Many believe that their relationships will not become a threat to the welfare and health of society and are ready to fight for their love, signing petitions and entering into confrontation with the authorities.


10 diptychs, app. 200×600 mm each.