email: jahiaroces@gmail.com
Instagram: @mikaylajahia

Community Quarantine:

This body of work stems from a longing for intimate human connection. I began this series in the Philippines, where I waited in lockdown, which our government called Community Quarantine, for nine months. While the severity of the lockdown waned as time went on, the bulk of it was spent in near solitary confinement, with my only human interactions being through the internet, or at home with my family. As someone who generally prefers my own company, this challenged my social outlook. I craved physical interaction, and started actively seeking people out. Photography served as both a barrier and an entry point with it providing the distance I needed to be around people I hardly knew, and the way it allowed me to enter people’s lives with the understanding that they would lend a sense of vulnerability to my camera.

Moving back to New York was a challenge for myself both personally and for my body of work. While there wasn’t the same sense of isolation, a similar anxiety remained around finding and revisiting personal connections I abandoned when I left the United States. I continued the work through the similar sense of longing for connection and intimacy that I sought after back home.