Content Warning: nudity, graphic images, mental health, mental illness
In a society with inhabitants capable of communicating with each other instantly from essentially anywhere at any time, I have never felt so lonely, frustrated, confused, worthless, and vile. No one speaks to one another or does anything remotely captivating. The world felt like it was on the verge of spontaneously combusting for years even prior to the pandemic that sent myself and millions of other students home for the worst summer of our lives. If you turned on a TV screen at any point in a given day, you were told how 5,000 people died today and another 15,000 got infected. If you thought your phone buzzed with a notification from a friend or partner, it was actually just the latest YouTube reminder to watch the latest breaking story about violent protests and how terrible our lives currently are. If you got to see your family for a change, they would just argue over COVID-related issues. By force and choice simultaneously, isolation always seemed to be the only feasible escape and remedy. Isolation was made to feel consoling in a time when we needed each other more than ever before, and at this we failed miserably. The longer you live in a world of isolation, the more vivid your personal reality distortion field becomes. At times this can be torturous, and at others it can be breathtakingly beautiful. We have all experienced an individualized version of an Isolation-Inspired God Complex, whether it be while listening to music that conjures picture-esque dreamscapes, or simply when feelings of anger make you perceive matters to be something they actually are not. This work is my interpretation of isolation-generated madness that might not be detectable from the outside, yet harmoniously festering within.
Jaylen Brown March
"The Tree of Liberty," photographed by Sofie Waterfall and Maia Nunez