Kodoku A photography project by Gili Benita

In a busy reality of unending work, when personal life seems to be pushed aside, loneliness takes on a more significant place.

“On February 2018, I traveled to Japan for a two-month journey, to explore the Japanese culture of being alone and its encounter with my own sense of feeling alone. In a country where thousands of people die alone each year without anyone noticing, loneliness reaches its most extreme form. In my journey, I was able to find the difference between loneliness and solitude, and the positive presence of the existence of personal individualism. In the series of photographs that I took, I tried to photograph myself and my alone through other people, passersby in the space of Japan.

The physical distance, the fear of being hurt and the fear of intimacy only perpetuate that feeling of loneliness. At one point, it seemed that some Japanese were using the symptoms of loneliness as a defence mechanism that, while working, immortalise their sense of loneliness. In spite of all this, the sense of Japanese loneliness has become fogged in my consciousness with a sense of solitude, which is perceived as more positive. The color, the minimalist aesthetics, and the beauty of the simple things were very visible to each person in a different way.

The characters I chose to photograph helped me to figure out the thin line between solitude and loneliness. Looking at those stranger characters and finding a sense of identification from a distant place, inspired me to express the sense of feeling alone in a place where allows it, where other people feel like me. Especially in the loneliest place, I did not feel alone anymore.”

– Discover more of Gili’s work here.

Monthly Photo Contest

Color film portrait photograph of a young woman by Michelle Marshall
© Michelle Marshall

2021 Portrait AWARD Deadline: 31 May 2021

"In a portrait, I’m looking for the silence in somebody."
- Henri Cartier-Bresson

Portrait photography has one of the oldest and most interesting histories that harkens back to the early days of the medium. Through portraits of iconic figures or ordinary people, we discover a deep interest in others.

Recent works or gems from your archives, classic or experimental, and through any kind of storytelling: we want to discover the most powerful and captivating images of today’s portrait photography. We are open to all interpretations and want to see faces that gaze right into the soul!


1st Prize: $1000 · 2nd Prize: $600 · 3rd Prize: $400

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