April 2020, Aarau (Switzerland)

“Hana, why do you take pictures of your father every time you visit him?”

I took this picture months ago in her apartment. She doesn’t like to be in front of the camera, so I was happy that she had done it regardless. I wanted to photograph Hana because I enjoy her work. She captures people and emotions in a way I admire.

We are talking on the phone. “A few years ago, I felt really bad. Doing photography saved me.”
This specific corner of her apartment you see in the picture … she enjoys sitting there for hours, watching the rain and how the water on the street creates reflections of the people passing by. “Most of my family lives in the Czech Republic. I would visit them about 4 times a year. But now, the borders are closed. I’m not sure if they will be open again this year. My father is 92 years old. I talk to his wife on the phone because he himself doesn’t recognize my voice anymore. But he’s always so happy when he learns it’s me on the other end. ‘Where are you?’ he would ask. ‘In Switzerland,’ I would answer.”

Switzerland has been in lockdown for 3 weeks, but the measures are not as strict as in other countries. “I’m looking forward to the moment when we’re allowed to go back to normal life. How will it feel like to be close to each other again? When I visit my father, he wants to be close to me. He likes it when I lay down next to him. ‘Where do you live?’ he would want to know. ‘In Switzerland,’ I would answer. After 5 minutes, he would ask again.

‘Don’t we take any pictures today?’ he asked me once, because I take pictures of him every time I see him. He enjoys it so much, in these moments he’s back to his old self … I don’t really know how to describe it. Finally, when I leave, I always say goodbye to him as if it would be the last time. This way, I am not afraid. When there is a camera in my hand, I am not afraid. Photography is my way to feel and to touch.”
Down below you can see my favorite pictures of Hana. The very first one is a picture of her father. You can find Hana’s work on Instagram.


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