And in darkness you find colors

Elisabetta Zavoli


“And in darkness you find colors” is a participatory photo project I’ve done during lockdown in Italy (5th March - 2nd June 2020) together with my two sons, Davide, 11, and Giovanni, 8.

I never had a lot of time to spend with them, before Covid-19. Life was swirling around at a hectic pace, between my job, their schools, after school activities, my social life. All of a sudden, halt, stop, don’t move. Stay home. Yes, home. We are among those lucky enough to have a big garden because we live in the countryside. I’ve always poorly endured the distance from the city. Yet, now this garden and photography have become a lifeboat.

Since the beginning of quarantine, my sons had a lot of questions about the virus, and fears and imaginary. To cope with these feelings, which sometimes could be overwhelming for young, we decided to create a universe of dreams and magic thanks to the connection with the natural environment around us. Each night, we carved our idea out of complete darkness by enlightening the scene with different sources of lights. We never knew how exactly the picture was going to be: we sketched it on a notebook but then we adapted it to the place, our bodies and our feelings. We let the momentum and our connections play roles. Every picture triggered inspirations for the following one. We used items that we found at home: old toys, sheets, masks, old stuff. Then, we discussed the photos together, creating and enforcing bonds among us. I chose a vertical orientation of the pictures to remind the idea of a door, opening onto our inner world. The title of this project both refers to the visual narrative we used and to the hope that in any situation, even the worst one, we would be able to find the positive aspects.

For me, the silver linings of this confinement is the precious long suspended time with my sons, out of the world, into our own world, where I could enjoy the last colors of their childhood.

{{ readMoreButton }}

  • "Colors"

  • "Fire Tree"

  • "Fairy Tale"

  • "Wormhole"

  • "Time"

  • "One, Nobody, A Hundred Thousand"

  • "Wizard"

  • "The King Fish"

  • "Flower"

  • "Hunter"

  • "Particles"

  • "Fox"

  • "Storm"

  • "Bird"

  • "Sheltering?"

  • "Too Small or Too Big?"

  • "Alien"

  • "Caterpillar"

  • "Rooster"

  • "Wink"