The prisoner (okaasan) - edited photography. We are behind a fence - the plant is blooming, carrying yellow flowers, against a fence. We are on the side of the flowers: they stop at the fence, that prevent their grow. The tones of the picture are cold, with a cloudy yet blue sky and a dark vignette effect. The flowers, fence and grass are against the light.
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Photo Highlight – The Prisoner, or blooming in a crazy world


As the news streams floods us daily with the surging of new COVID cases, and fear about our and loved ones health and savety being at rise once more, I got reminded of this picture I took during the first french COVID 2019 lockdown and made the lasts edits.

I was at the time limited to a walk/sport perimeter of one square kilometer around my house, for one hour, with a file I had to fill with my reasons for going out, the hour at which I left the house, my address and had to carry my identities papers, even for short walks. Everything else was closed, I spent a lot of time between the hospital were my mother was and my work as a cleaning lady, fearing in the meantime to catch the virus and give it to my bedridden-80-years-old mom. Even my daily outing where limited and closely watched. I had to cope with this eerie reality where police was patrolling in small paths only known by the locals, knowing they would be able to arrest locals that had deemed the place too lost to be of interest.

My personal life was hitting a low point, and the reality was scary. I felt trapped, a prisoner of my own life, of this world were life itself was slowly loosing its meaning, being limited to work, hospital, anxious grocery shopping. Reality was a prison, the virus holding population hostage to avoid death, the government lying, extremes rising… I needed breaks. Being a contradictory spirit is in my nature, leading to an unprecedented time spent roaming around the closest fields of my house.

When this heavy stone wall rose between me and the world, my creativity and imagination found their way amongst the small cracks it had, creating some, to bloom. Areas that were too close and hadn’t  caught my interest before literaly began my playing field where, with the unconditionnal help of my camera, I began to immortalise what had always seemed trivial – which we were now denied – and show the beauty and powerful messages they had to tell.

When reviewing my photography work, my mind got caught on the photo I named The Prisoner, as it seemed a simple, yet powerful message: you can’t cage creativity. Human beings will always find a way to express this inherant part of their nature, and use it to make sense of the reality they are navigating in. Thus, it allows them to regain the agency they are denied. It is exactly what happened for me, and I created that picture with this in mind – it was logical, almost obvious.

Reality can be gloom. The future might seem doomed. But art will always give me a way to bloom. Fences delimite a space, but lives finds a way inside and outside it, as the world cannot be caged.

Okaasan, The Prisoner, 2023

The prisoner (okaasan) - edited photography. We are behind a fence - the plant is blooming, carrying yellow flowers, against a fence. We are on the side of the flowers: they stop at the fence, that prevent their grow. The tones of the picture are cold, with a cloudy yet blue sky and a dark vignette effect. The flowers, fence and grass are against the light.Okaasan, The Prisoner, 2023

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