When we first listened to Flora Zajicek's Family Portrait, it brought us back to such a familiar sense of absence in our own homes, it resounded so much with our own experience of isolation and distance throughout Italy's first lockdown, last Spring 2020. Family Portrait is a bitter-sweet audio miniature conveying that agonising distance of emotional and physical connection that Covid-19 has caused but also, paradoxically, the role of technology in its attempt to connect us.
Over the course of making a cup of coffee, Flora thinks about all the memories we will not make because of the pandemic. She explores imagination and technology as both the connective and dis-connective tissue between us.
"I wanted the piece to take the listener on a journey through my thoughts - Flora wrote us - where it's possible to simultaneously be stuck in your flat doing the same mundane things you do every day, and also be with your family/loved ones, wherever they are".
Family Portrait collects voices that were recorded between November 2020 and February 2021, a time when UK went through a prolongued lockdown. They are just the audio files from videos that have been sent between Flora's family members, whilst they were not able to see each other. Along the way, a new baby was born, Flora's nephew, Osian.
Flora Zajicek is a freelance creator and teller of stories. She is especially interested in platforming those voices usually muted by power, she seeks out the extraordinary in the everyday. She has worked in arts and journalism settings in Paris, Sydney, Athens, Sarajevo, Edinburgh and now Liverpool.
The spine of her work lies in an attempt to prick your ears and spark new empathetic connections…who knows, it might be catching.