Art

welcome home, starling

you are safe now

Photo Essay: A Year Alone

Photo Essay: A Year Alone

In late 2013, my Mother passed away extremely suddenly without warning. I was told it was a brain aneurysm though I’m not entirely sure that was the case.  I’m still uncertain of the reasons to this day.

By the end of 2014, I was in a rut. I had managed to break it off with a girl pretty badly, somehow excommunicated a group of my friends, and completely decimated my studies. For the first half of 2015, I stopped attending any classes and found myself foregoing interactions with most friends and family. There were some people checking up on me once a month or so, but for the most part I was in the company of a camera and online streaming services.

At the time, I lived in a 2.5 x 2.5 meter room rented out by a Chinese couple who turned out to be Jehovah’s Witnesses. It was pretty difficult communicating to them so I wound up avoiding interaction with them as much as possible. That year I also did not go home during the Winter break as much as I always did.

I kept up this miserable existence for 6 months, until I went back to university in the second semester. Despite now attending school, I had the exact same routine and I was still as miserable as ever. I managed to only fail one unit that semester, somewhat of an improvement I suppose.

For most purposes you could probably consider me a shut in due to my room being so small and claustrophobic, and somehow all that inward attention and pain led me to wander aimlessly through the city taking photos of life around me. Voyeuristically projecting my pain onto unsuspecting strangers.

Thankfully, 2016 has been much kinder to me; at the end of last year I met an amazing girl and things are gradually improving. My sister gave birth to a baby a few months ago. I’m also set to be graduating if things go as they are currently.

Photography probably saved me from myself

my tiny room was a permanent mess

my tiny room was a permanent mess

self portrait, october 2015

self portrait, october 2015

Emil Raji is a musician/photographer. He can be reached by his Instagram (@emilraji) or from his email emiraji@yahoo.com. Check out his work at emilraji.com and his band A City Sorrow Built

Illustration: Pendulum

Illustration: Pendulum

Allan Gardens Conservatory

Allan Gardens Conservatory