For months I had been planning my trip to Buenos Aires to do a photographic project. I have lived there for 8 years, and it is the place where I decided to become a professional photographer and where I spend 3 years in the class room.
I have a zillion photos of Buenos Aires, but didn’t develop my own style until later, after I had moved back to Belgium. So that’s when I decided I needed to go back and finish what I had started. I blocked the whole month of March and the month of November (in case I couldn’t finish in 1 month) and started planning.
Argentines are a bit paranoid when it comes to safety, and it is absolutely impossible to get into buildings or rooftops without special authorisation by the owner of boss. So I did the necessary research and contacted the people in charge. Armed with a list of locations and permissions it was time to leave.
Apart from lists and permissions, an other very important factor is of course, the weather. For a start, I am not a blue skies and good weather photographer, and there are only a couple of moments a day that are perfect to shoot. So besides some occasional trial shots, I spend most of my first week getting extra permissions, making appointments and getting new contacts through my friends.
I was ready to get really started by week 2, when the weather became more interesting. That is also when Corona alias Covid-19 started sneaking into the country.
Immediately many places were closed down. Buildings where I wanted to go inside were no longer accessible. People who had invited me to shoot from their terrace didn’t want anyone coming close. Fear was starting to get a grip on every thing I wanted to do.
By the end of week 2 the country went into a complete lock down, we ‘ran off’ to the province, and my photographic project was put on hold…
Extremely frustrated at first, I had no other choice but to accept my defeat. I will not be able to get 20 top photos of my beloved Capital any time soon. But then our priorities changed, when we realised getting home would be the next huge challenge. Our flight home being canceled 9 times until all the commercial flights out of Argentina were put to a halt, and with the help of the Belgian Embassy we got onto a French Repatriation flight home.
With only a few great images on my laptop, the biggest question was yet to come : will I be able to go back in November to finish what I started? These are strange times indeed…