In these moments, there is no speaking, no listening, no raucous interactions on the street. The people I depict are not making any sounds. Their minds are somewhere else—they were occupied with their own thoughts. As such, they aren’t consciously present in these images. Even though they are surrounded by people, their only companion is themselves.

I think these pictures show the state of being an individual. This gives us, the viewer, the opportunity to identify with the people in these images.

No matter where we are, who we are with, or what we look like, we are all single, separate individuals. Like it or not, at some moments we are on our own. What’s fascinating to me is that this state of being—alone but together—shows an aspect of life that could be considered tragic and lonely. Looking at these images, I’m able to look at life and identity alongside each other. It’s a unique perspective.

—Martijn Steiner Lovisa

This series was one of the Top 100 submissions in the LensCulture Street Photography Awards 2016 as rated by our international jury
. Discover more inspiring work from all the winners, jurors’ picks and finalists.