Quarantine time hangs heavy. The Coronavirus has canceled your Easter plans, social events, and sporting activities. You count the days on your fingers until it’s over.
However, thousands of people around the world like Jacqui Kenny have been going through this for most of their lives.
Suffering from agoraphobia, an anxiety condition where individuals perceive their environment to be unsafe with no easy way to escape, Kenny has difficulty going to the back isles of the local supermarket or to work. Home becomes her safe haven.
Yet Kenny told us from her own story that space can only trap our body not mind.
Agoraphobia & anxiety limit my ability to travel, so I’ve found another way to see the world.
Her way to see the world is Google Street View.
It was one day in 2017 when she found herself perusing Google Map when the idea came to her. She stumbled on a striking image of a dog running behind the Street View camera car. Kenny positioned the framing, clicked a screengrab and thought to herself: “That’s a beautiful picture.”
She was soon immersed in the project and spending a lot of time to navigate to faraway countries and remote places in the world that she’d always dreamed of, like Mongolia, Senegal, and Chile.
I found remote towns and dusty landscapes, vibrant architectural gems, and anonymous people, all frozen in time. I was intrigued by the strange and expansive parallel universe of Street View, and took screen shots to capture and preserve its hidden, magical realms.
—— Jacqui Kenny
She has been posting photos from the collection on an Instagram account called Agoraphobic Traveller, to share with as well as to encourage people who find it difficult to go outside their comfort zone.
She doesn’t regard herself as a real photographer, but clearly she has a very perspicacious eye. If you go through her IG account, you’ll get yourself inadvertently healed by the stark landscapes, sandy hazes, and orderly arrangements.
Now, for a limited time, Google has given Kenny permission to sell a series of limited edition prints, and parts of her proceeds will go towards mental health charities.
Kenny still has a long way to go in her fight against agoraphobia. Yet there is reason to believe that after stepping out of her shell, Kenny’s life will be filled with creative possibilities.