Langley teenager tours houses all across the world for art project

Seventeen year old Asalah Youssef started Screenshots of Home to capture isolation during COVID-19

Asalah Youssef, a seventeen year old Langley Fine Arts School student, is taking tours of homes all across the world as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on – and she is doing it from her own home by connecting with people on Facetime.

Screenshots of Home is a project Youssef said was born out of feeling “artistically numb” in isolation.

Scrolling through Instagram and noticing a huge online presence of people doing live videos and connecting in new way made her see that there were far more common experiences being had during the pandemic than first thought.

“The photo project documents diverse people all over the world in their homes during isolation,” Youssef said. “I am finding connections all across the globe, hearing people’s stories, getting an intimate look into their lives, and even experiencing jet lag without getting on a plane – all while staying safe at home.”

Youssef contacts people she follows on Instagram via private message, then sets up a portrait session with the willing individuals quarantined in their home.

Through a FaceTime call, Youssef is given a tour of the home while working together to document their COVID experiences and staging compositions, framing, angles, and lighting for photographs.

Youssef noted that a lot of her subjects were strangers before the shoot, but on the call, she finds herself immediately having meaningful conversations – connecting over this shared experience and working together to create art.

“I guide my subjects through composition, lighting and poses, it is complete collaboration,” she continued. “This project has become a visual journal of everyday lives, of common humanity, shared but unique experience, of empathy, of vulnerability and of connection.”

READ MORE: Dementia doesn’t stop and neither does the Alzheimer Society of B.C.

From Mexico, to Germany, to Lebanon and Japan, Youssef said she has connected with many people and received an intimate look at what life at home has been like for them.

From Ceilidh in France who has been dealing with the passing of her father who she couldn’t see due to social distancing orders, to married couple Stuart and Tony in England, who have been dealing with the pressure of homeschooling two children – Youssef said she is getting out of her comfort zone and understanding how interconnected people truly are.

“By taking these photographs I hope to create a visual gallery of connection and empathy, one that documents this historic time in an intimate way. A sense of belonging is vital at this time and through my visual storytelling I share our common humanity,” she explained.

While she does not know if the project will continue after COVID-19, Youssef said she would rather focus on capturing the situation the world is presently in and not worry about what might be next.

“I do know that picking up a camera and doing a photo shoot in person again will be a beautiful feeling, but at the same time, if I’m feeling the virtual travel bug, I’ll know what to do,” Youssef said.

More information on Youssef can be found on her website https://www.asalahyoussef.com and the project, Screenshots of Home, can be viewed on Instagram.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

CoronavirusLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Heritage rail to remain closed for both July and August

Fraser Valley Heritage Rail Society may open Cloverdale Station in September

Lost Langley couple rescued from James Lake, near Kelowna

The rescue occurred Saturday, July 11

UPDATED: Build your own dinosaur zoo with animatronic auction in Langley

Dozens of robot dinosaurs and fossils are going on the auction block next month

Langley School District Foundation is fundraising with fountains

Western Water Farms donated garden ornaments, which people can purchase to help feed hungry students

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Abbotsford shooting victim named by IHIT

Investigators are seeking dash cam footage, information from locals regarding Friday’s death

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Washington’s NFL team drops ‘Redskins’ name after 87 years

The franchise was given the name back in 1933, when it was still in Boston

Fraser Valley loses the Keith Wilson Waver as Ron Hupper passes away

Hupper brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of people traveling Chilliwack’s Keith Wilson Road

Most Read