The disruption caused by COVID-19 brings with it a new kind of vision.
New Yorkers forced to take unexpected trips and those who remained in the city found at least one thing in common: The world they thought they knew is full of new things to discover.
All you need to do is open your eyes—and your mind.
These videos, produced and directed by the documentary students at the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, chronicle inner and outer journeys connecting to places as far-flung as the nation of Lebanon, the state of California and the borough of Brooklyn. They unearth a world of fresh possibilities, and in at least one case, a deeper understanding of what brought us to this moment.
Thousands of Lebanese students abroad were left stranded between two worlds when the pandemic closed Beirut’s airport in early March. Navigating the “new normal” imposed by lockdowns across the globe pushed Yara El Murr to find new ways to connect with her family.
My New York Minute
The pandemic returned Adelaida Espinoza to Texas, bringing her back to the life she had before coming to New York. Here is a look at what she loves about the place her relatives call home while looking forward to coming back to “the restless city that fell asleep.”
Surviving in New York in an RV
Ron Retamales has lived in an RV in Brooklyn for five years. The lifestyle made the city more affordable on an artist’s budget. That was until the COVID-19 outbreak brought unemployment and a daily struggle for bare essentials like water and electricity, as Diane Bezucha reports.
The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic on March 11. On March 13, the U.S. government declared national emergency. In the week that followed, Mary Conlon recorded how a Brooklyn resident named Eliza struggled to make sense of what was happening as she adjusted to quarantine from her apartment.
Coronaviruses and Deforestation
The rapid destruction of the world’s forests is displacing wildlife on an unprecedented scale, putting humans increasingly in contact with animal-borne infectious diseases, as Gus Fisher reports.
College students across the U.S. were forced to move out of dorms when COVID-19 struck. Some had no place to go. Most were given only a few days to move. Noëlle D. Lilley was one of them. This is the story of her journey from a student apartment complex in Harlem back to her hometown in California.
The Big Sit In
As a graduate student, Emilce Quiroz expected the spring semester to be overwhelming. Then COVID-19 arrived. She was forced to reflect on what life looks like through security-camera footage, Zoom calls and her apartment windows.
Terrence Fraser documents how he has stayed connected to his Caribbean-American family—including a grandmother who contracted COVID-19—from the solitude of his Brooklyn apartment.
Pandemic Voyages was produced by the students in the Documentary Concentration at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. The course is taught by Yoruba Richen, Director of the Documentary Program.