Concierge in a hotel before the pandemic and photographer in his spare time, Montrealer Carlos Viani crisscrossed the streets of his neighborhood, Saint-Henri, to document the confinement in his community. He took 60 photos of couples, families or single people, at their window or on their balcony. Twenty-two of these photos are exhibited in large format, on Notre-Dame Street West, in the Sud-Ouest borough.
Entitled The Confinement Diaries, the project was born out of the desire to document the daily life of the residents of his neighborhood, upset, like his, by the pandemic.
“My whole way of life has been turned upside down,” says this former hotel worker who lost his job in March. We work full time, part of our life is devoted to that and, from moment to moment, we have a lot of time available. ”
From May to July, he therefore devoted this time to his project, “a declaration of love for Saint-Henri”, says the photographer of Peruvian origin, a way of emphasizing “the human side and the diversity of my neighborhood” .
“I wanted to create a visual memory for the neighborhood and I like having this idea that it will be able to stand the test of time and acquire value later,” he explains. The pandemic is now experienced in a way, but once it’s over, we can turn the page, breathe a little. The children in these photos will be teenagers. As I gave these photos to the people who participated, they will be able to review it. Maybe these kids can show that to their grandchildren. ”
These meetings also allowed, according to him, to break the isolation.
It was the opportunity to have 15 minutes contact with several meters away. People felt they were part of something that represents our community.
Carlos Viani, photographer and creator of the project Chronicles of containment
First posted on Instagram and on its website, his photos are currently displayed in the windows of vacant premises on Notre-Dame Street West, between Rose-de-Lima and Greene streets, thanks to the financial support of the SDC Les Quartiers du Canal.
As for the photographer, he decided to put an end to his hotel work to start a career in photography.