Dear World,

I hope this forced temporary isolation will make us more attentive to each other.


I live in the 15th floor of high-rise building. Every time I look out of the window, I'm both joyful and a little scared because I understand what a beautiful world around me and how many dangers it carries.

As the Covid-19 pandemic began, confusion was added to my joy and fear. It seems to me that the world we live in will never be the same again. We believed that we can control nature, but it turns out that the whole order of life on a large part of the planet can change even the microorganism. We have overestimated our power over the circumstances and now we must live in adapting to new living conditions.

I have an adopted son. He is about three years old and I am constantly learning to understand his language, his real needs. It is possible only when I respect the child as individual.

Almost a year ago my wife died suddenly, so his grandmothers are now playing the role of mom to the boy. But through this loss, I realized the importance of accepting what is happening to or around you. Accepting even if you do not understand why everything is happening this way and what can happen next.

To accept something for me is to show respect, to acknowledge the uncontrollable circumstances to my will. By the same principle I try to build relationships with other people - just by respecting and accepting a person, even if I don't understand it. Respect makes it possible not to infect each other with anger and aggression. I hope this forced temporary isolation will make us more attentive to each other, reminding us that neither the internet nor social networks can’t replace direct human communication.


Respect Is My Social Distance

Support this photographer: Oleksandr Khomenko ︎  @oleksandr_khomenko

To tell a little more about my family I decided to show some photos from the story I captured during more than two years. When we brought home the adopted boy, we realized that it would take some time to become really close to the child. And I realized that the real relationship between people is clearly visible in awakening time, when we are close, but still in our world of dreams. And I started to film these morning awakenings.

Then my wife died and left this story incompleted. And I decided to film myself instead of my wife, recording how my son and me are experiencing the loss. Death can only be overcome by love.
About the photographer: Oleksandr Khomenko, Kyiv-based photojournalist. Published in The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, The Daily Signal, Deutsche Welle


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