New Year’s Eve 2021
This is not what I expected to be posting on New Year’s Eve 2021. In fact, I couldn’t imagine that I’d be posting anything new on The Pandemic Lens on the last day of 2021.
My plan was to stop publishing any new materials once life resumed to normal as we all hoped it would last summer. If you’ve been following the Lens, you might recall that it all started with an image that I took of the Somerville Theater (Somerville, MA) back in June 2020 (see below). I eagerly awaited for signs that our beloved neighborhood theater would reopen—that would have been deeply symbolic and emotionally liberating on so many levels. I figured that when the marquee changed to the something like “all safe, come back,” I’d photograph the theater and run a headline on the Lens, “Thaaaaat’s All Folks!”
But then Delta happened. The politicization and misinformation surrounding masks extended into politicization and misinformation surrounding vaccines. Summer slid into fall and the theater did in fact reopen. But under very different conditions (see below).
And now we have Omicron. And recalcitrant vaccine hesitancy.
What’s next, and where do we go from here?
Hopefully, not into a future with more images like the above.
Copyright © 2021 Steven Bennett
Steve Bennett is a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based visual artist. He began taking photographs more than 40 years ago, in the age of film, and transitioned to digital photography in the late 90s. Today, in addition to taking and making traditional street, macro, and landscape photographs, he creates photo-based abstract composites designed to take viewers on fanciful flights of the imagination through virtual realms. His work has been displayed in numerous juried exhibitions, and at Google’s Kendall Square, Cambridge offices as well as various technology, biotech, and financial service companies in the Boston area.