The Quarantine Diary Series
Words by Letícia Barreto
December 20, 2020
These collages are a small selection from a larger project I started during the official lockdown in Portugal (I've done around 80 collages so far). I mix collage, watercolor, and other materials, playing with paper fragments until poetry emerges. In this series, I addressed my feelings during this challenging period: the fear, the awareness of impermanence, the insecurity, the skin hunger, and my reactions to the news from my mother country Brazil. The collages also reflect my difficulty in dealing with a kind of reality that sounds like an Ionesco play, but in which certain political leaders are rhinos too big to ignore.
We feel that the world as we know it is collapsing before our eyes. The things we learn to call reality are breaking apart, are dissolving like ink on water. We have experienced a moment of unpredictability, and we have to learn to take each day as it comes to be able to put our pieces back together again. Like the Brazilian writer, Guimarães Rosa said, “To live is to tear and to patch up.”
Given the current situation, we often hear that we are all in the same boat. But the pandemic has highlighted our social inequality more clearly than ever before. If we understand this moment as an unprecedented wake-up call, we have the chance to rethink our behavior and our relationship with our common home and all living beings.