Josie O’Neal-Odom ’19 Reflects on Pandemic

Josie O’Neal-Odom ’19, a student at Parsons School of Design, The New School, recently completed a photography assignment reflecting on isolation caused by the current pandemic. Her Interactive Studio class was asked to practice conceptual thinking and execute a photoshoot based on current events. Josie found this assignment exciting because of the challenge it presented due to limited resources at her disposal because of the virus.

Josie chose to focus on the current world of quarantine and social distancing and how it has affected people’s mental health. She said that she heard from “friends, family, and strangers that their mental health has declined significantly due to being alone and feeling helpless about the state of the world.”

“I knew I wanted the atmosphere and mood of the photos to be cramped and feel almost claustrophobic to reflect this,” Josie explained. “For the lighting, I wanted it to resemble the way your eyes initially react when being in the light after a long time of darkness.”

She also chose for the subject of the photos, her mom, to be dressed in comfortable clothing to reflect how people are dressing during the quarantine. Josie also wanted her photos to express a feeling that many who are affected by the pandemic are feeling now.

Check out Josie’s full statement and project here.

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