Thirty years ago, I laid on my mother's chest wrapped in her arms, like an everlasting swing. Today, after three decades, I have returned to the womb. The world today has given us a pause; a life without haste, without pressures, and without excuses. For more than hundred and forty days we were locked in a confined space.
Today, the world stands still. Life in this house has frozen into a hug.
I have lived through two quarantines in the last year; both of them after the birth of my son, Ikal. For some reason, I still feel like I am a puerpera, a woman who has just given birth. I think this is because the context and the emotional register of my life remains so similar. During my first quarantine, postpartum, I was full of hope. But this quarantine has brought me great anxiety for the future, for my son, and for the planet.
Undoubtedly, confinement feels stronger and more overwhelming when someone imposes it on us. When we have freedom over our actions, but we decide to stay home, we still feel free. Not anymore. My days consist of breastfeeding, napping, changing diapers, playing, loving, and repeating. Deep down, I feel that quarantine is like motherhood: an endless spiral of loneliness, isolation, unanswered questions, anxiety, reflections, and hope. I see these emotions as a neutral feeling, neither negative nor positive. They are simply new. However, quarantined or not—inside or outside—freedom is not defined by confinement or by being outdoors. Freedom is a state of mind; a philosophy, a decision.
I spent this second quarantine with my mother. Together, we did the daily exercise of accompanying, guiding, and caring for ourselves. She is the beginning of my own motherhood and so it is an endless circle. We shared experiences that we would have never experienced together if it wasn’t for the COVID-19 pandemic. This timeless period has allowed me to portray the symbiosis between my son, my mother, and myself while living under one roof in total lockdown, with limited exposure to the outdoors.
Exploring the connection between mother, child, and nature, my project highlights the importance of the environment in our collective well-being. From the confinement of my home to the limited time spent outdoors, I outlined the vital importance of nature in our lives. As this project includes my child, it also illustrates the importance of protecting our planet from further destruction to leave a better world for future generations. Today, we are the ones who must inhabit the world in a different way.