Floriana Avellino: Holidays — The Wait
A fee for this story is donated to Fondazione Progetto Arca Onlus
Floriana donated her fee to Fondazione Progetto Arca Onlus — the Italian organization providing help to the most fragile and lonely people: homeless people, families in housing emergency, people with addiction problems, refugees and asylum seekers.
Holidays are supposed to be one of life’s great pleasures, even though most people would say they need another holiday just to recover from their holiday, ironically. Just picture this — you’ve been working non-stop for months on end, day in and day out, doing the exact same thing every single day. Waking up, making a coffee or tea, perhaps having breakfast, going to work or opening your laptop on the sofa and working from home, and not returning to your personal life until after 5 or even 6 PM. One day you book your escape, albeit only a temporary one. It might be only a few hundred miles away from home, but it still makes a difference.
Dreaming of breaking the routine and imagining what your holiday would be like sustains you. Routines help us adjust to life and they eliminate having to make decisions every single time we encounter a problem, but they can also be detrimental to people’s mental health if they are not broken every now and then on regular intervals. People’s mental health truly suffered during the Covid lockdowns, in fact, the repercussions of being stuck indoors, or at the very least in the same town, for months was branded as the hidden pandemic.
Floriana Avellino captures the joy of going on a holiday and its little, often unnoticed moments in her project The Wait. The body of work focuses in particular on the moments before departure, which are often ignored as the main part of the “real” holiday tends to be what interests most. She shows us the facades of Italian airports with bars and restaurants, people tapping their fingers on the outside of the car door impatiently, cruise ships and camper vans surrounded by gorgeous-looking clouds. The light is soft and dreamy, the colours are cinematic and calm. In fact, almost every picture could be part of a movie, some even the beginning of intriguing scenes that let the viewers in and make them wonder what’s about to happen — there’s that sense of mystery and slight tension.
Avellino’s project makes us all long for the days when it was incredibly easy to travel pre-Covid — no expensive tests, no canceled flights, no quarantining. We often forget that modern travel and holidaying as we know it is actually a fairly recent phenomenon, and only a century ago or so taking weeks by sea to go to America or Australia was the norm.
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