Life under lockdown has transformed the already fraught experience of online dating for millions of singletons. Romanian photographer Claudiu Asmarandei is using dating apps to get a better insight into how people from across the world are experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic.
Asmarandei asked his matches on dating app Tinder to describe their towns and countries under lockdown, as well as to send photos of their everyday lives. “After three or four messages [just to say hi], I would ask [my matches] if they wanted to participate in the project. I asked them to send me five photos that reflected their lives under lockdown,” Asmarandei told The Calvert Journal.
The photographer, who is based in the northern Italian city of Turin, came up with the idea after Tinder announced that it would allow its users to change their location to anywhere in the world for free (a perk that had previously only been available for paid “Premium” users).
The result is a series of informal photos peeking into homes and exploring public transport, markets, and street life, in locations ranging from Romania, Georgia, Belarus, and Russia to the United States, Chile, Iceland, and South Africa. All of the images are paired with short descriptions, provided by the project participants via chat messages.
Asmarandei’s favourite story was shared by a woman living in the United States. “I was most moved by Maria’s story,” he said. “She’s from Argentina yet she was stranded in Miami for work, living alone in a flat. She was not able to go back to her family when flights got cancelled. It took her two months to leave the US.”
You can follow Asmarandei on Instagram.