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Creative Writing Entertainment Interviews Mei Mukose

Film Creativity in Isolation: Dealing with COVID-19 and the Loss of Normalcy

Being stuck in isolation due to the global pandemic can cause a lot of us to feel lost. When the end is unclear and tomorrow appears vague, we can learn to cope through photography. Photography can help us channel our creativity and emotions while keeping us productive in quarantine.

Written by Mei Mukose

Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, many of us in different parts of the world have experienced major lifestyle changes. Having started the enhanced community quarantine in mid-March, these two months here in Manila have led me to consider ways in which I’d be able to spend my time more constructively.

Social media has put a lot of emphasis on various ways to stay productive, whether it be through elevating one’s culinary skills or taking on a new fitness journey. Personally, none of these methods seemed to be quite appealing to me. However, it was a local advertisement for vintage film cameras that really piqued my interest. 

Miyuu’s Photography

With my new sense of determination and absolutely no prior knowledge in film or photography, I began to scour the internet for a suitable camera to start with. And honestly, it was quite overwhelming. There were so many terminologies I didn’t understand, and being a student, a handful of these options did not fit my price range. Soon enough, having spent several sleepless nights mulling on this, I landed on a popular vintage point-and-shoot camera.

I was pleased to have finally sorted things out, and I was more than eager to start on the next step: taking photos. But as the days went by, I realized how staying at home put so much of a constraint on both inspiration and creativity, and that left me stumped. 

How are creative people dealing with loss and the sense of normalcy? 

Where can you find inspiration in, and what do you do?

To explore these changing times through different lenses, Miyuu Ouchi, a second-year GDP student and an avid photographer, shares some of her insights with us.

Miyuu’s Photography

How did you get into photography?

About 2 years ago I got an approval from the Kanagawa BoE (Board of Education) and made it to Maryland/Washington D.C. for a tuition-free language program. I just wanted to keep every single moment while being there so I bought the camera before departure (in Japan). Perhaps I didn’t trust my iPhone when it came to photography. Well, now I am 100% sure that the iPhone is awesome!

What kind of photos do you normally like to take?

・Photographs of people

・Plants

・Whatever I want to keep 

Where do you get your inspiration? 

WHEREVER, WHENEVER, WHATEVER!

Miyuu’s Photography

In what ways has the pandemic influenced your photography style and muses? 

Exploring the neighborhood and capturing something impressive is part of what I got out of the pandemic I guess.

Even if COVID-19 has changed the world, time goes by. Flowers are blooming, the sun rises and goes down every day. I’m impressed with the ordinary but extraordinary moments. 

– Miyuu’s Mom

Any on-going projects or plans for the future?

Online Photo Exhibition via Instagram, or whatever.

The interview with Miyuu Ouchi was organized and conducted by Mei Mukose. Both Miyuu and Mei are students of the Discovery Program for Global Learners. The photos used belong to Miyuu Ouchi, you can find Miyuu on Instagram at @tsuruppo.

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