Revealing invisibility: Interpreting social and behavioral aspects of the Coronavirus pandemic through student documentary photography

Keywords: photography, lockdown, Coronavirus, photo novella, documentation, everydayness


Life for the population in the Czech Republic came to a standstill in spring 2020 due to measures enacted in relation to the Coronavirus epidemic: a travel ban and closed borders, the cancellation of physical lessons at all types of school, the closure of stores except those securing basic necessities, radical restrictions to free movement of people. This unprecedented situation became the inspiration for creative work by students at the Studio of Advertising Photography at Tomas Bata University in Zlin. Since joint work in the studio was not possible, the students were given their assignments as part of the Digital Photography classes in the form of a document reflecting the social situation during the Corona crisis. Selected visual narratives, or photo novellas, are a methodical component of arts-based research, meaning the use of art artefacts and imagination for a more complete knowledge of this mode of social reality. Verbal commentary complements the images’ topic by interpreting the main themes of the selected photographic images: Easter festivities without religious services, sewing facemasks and covering faces, newly discovered meanings of borders and emptiness, the social role of meals in family life. The Coronavirus crisis has revealed the hidden opportunities of a new way to see and discover again how to evaluate our everyday life, something which in the haste of each ordinary day can become subconscious routine.

Received: 30 August 2021
Accepted: 20 April 2022


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Author Biographies

Ivo Jirásek, Tomas Bata University, Czech Republic

PhD, is Professor at the Faculty of Humanities of the Tomas Bata University in Zlin (Czech Republic) where he undertakes philosophical aspects of movement culture (game and play, experience, body and movement), specializes in the field of experiential and outdoor education and the phenomenon of spirituality and spiritual health.

Bohuslav Stránský, Tomas Bata University, Czech Republic

PhD, is a senior lecturer and head of Digital Design Studio at the Faculty of Multimedia Communication, Tomas Bata University in Zlin (Czech Republic), with interest in web design a UX design, internet as a communication and presentation medium, info design, and graphic design.


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How to Cite
Jirásek, Ivo, and Bohuslav Stránský. 2022. “Revealing Invisibility: Interpreting Social and Behavioral Aspects of the Coronavirus Pandemic through Student Documentary Photography”. Tuning Journal for Higher Education 9 (2), 217-44.