How to make group photographies in a university under Japan’s COVID-19 “state of emergency”

Kento Kamiuchi,
Sakoda Ami,
Okamoto Rana

Kansai University
The declaration of "State of Emergency" incited by the Japanese government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic deprived us of human relationships and close contact. We had to avoid the 三密: 1. Closed spaces 2. Crowded places 3. Close-contact settings. It also deprived us of our campus life. All of our university classes have moved online, therefore leading people to leave the university. The declaration of State of Emergency has also deprived us of expression. We could only take solo photography to avoid the “Three Cs” condition. Taking group photos has been one of the most difficult expressions.

Our idea was to take group photos while maintaining distance in the empty university, with all of us holding umbrellas. To avoid the “Three Cs” condition, we could not talk to each other to plan the settings and compositions. Instead, we used the messaging app LINE to take the photos. The umbrella is an expression of keeping distance. It is not only a physical tool, but also a tribute to "Dunes" by Shoji Ueda, a master of Japanese group photography.