The World Under Lockdown: Empty Photographs in a Corona-stricken World

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The year 2020 is marked as a critical year witnessing some of the most urgent global health challenges following the COVID-19 pandemic which left many countries under lockdown. Concurrently with the strict regulations on entering public spaces, photos were published of empty metropolises all over the world. In this thesis, by analysing these photos, I will explore the meanings behind them and the issues that are reflected by means of them. I will argue that the absence of human beings in these depictions hints to a broader range of socio-cultural issues that are embedded in the zeitgeist of our era. Drawing on Lefebvre’s theory of the social production of space, in the first chapter of my thesis I will focus on the relationship between individuals and public spaces following the crisis. In the second chapter, I will delve deeper into the ontological roots of the feeling of uncanniness and fear as captured by the photos, aiming to unravel those deeper existential issues that are connected to the depiction of the pandemic.
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