Phatic Communion
Project info

In 2008, I moved from a big city to a small town.
This was a unique experience. The photos tell a story of my wanderings through the town; peeking into people’s windows; looking at children playing and friends talking; seeing them far away, as if through a thick wall of glass; they recount my inability to connect with them in a consequential way. My failing attempts at establishing meaningful relations, which would go beyond every-day small talk; my dawning realization that at a certain point in life, it is very difficult for some people to find their bearings after moving to a new place.
Solitude in a big city is anonymous. In a small town with a community that is reluctant to let a newcomer in, solitude has the face of the person who is alone.
The term phatic communion was coined by British anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski in his essay "The Problem of Meaning in Primitive Languages". It denotes the linguistic function of a language aimed at the maintenance of superficial social interaction rather than imparting information or sharing ideas.