Shortly after the use of facemasks became mandatory in public spaces, I noticed there was a new environmental issue: the protective masks against Covid-19.
For this photographic work, I didn’t worry too much about the angles of the photos, nor even the beauty of the places. My aim was (and is) to simply raise awareness of the problem.
That’s why, in the last few months, especially after the end of each lockdown, I’ve started registering with my phone camera all the masks I could find. These were being discarded in carparks, on the grass, in rural areas, urban areas and on the beaches. I took hundreds of images, but selected only a few. It doesn’t matter where they were discarded or lost. Just like plastics, cigarette butts and papers are thrown out the window, so are the facemasks against Covid-19.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have always used reusable masks, except in two occasions where apparently the one I was wearing did not “follow the rules”.
If these images are useful for a handful of people to change their behaviour, the time spent photographing and editing them will have served its purpose. This is not just an environmental problem. It’s primarily an educational and cultural deficiency.