When the blinds of a window are opened in the morning, the sun rays on a sunshiny day fill the room. When a window is opened in the afternoon, the rain drops can be felt in your hands as you place them outside the window. Regardless of the weather, a new world opens to you as you open a window. You may see the same people, neighbours, or, if you do not have neighbours, you may see a dog, a cat, a building, or a person on the street. Perhaps you notice the weather before you notice anything else, but to open a window is to welcome a new sight, sometimes in a new place.
Likewise, when you travel, you open your windows - or your eyes - to the new and the old. You can travel to see your family, to see your friends. You can travel around your little town or your huge city. Or you can travel abroad and explore the world. Perhaps you can even travel in your thoughts and dreams. There might not be a specific way of describing "travelling, " which might contribute to the joy associated with exploring further and seeing new faces as you move around. One way of looking at travelling is that when you go somewhere new, you are an outsider in the place. Yet, your aim can be to explore that place closely rather than to detach yourself from it completely. And as you do this, you observe the tiny details as well as the huge ones. So does the photographer through a lens.
Dana Click (@danaclick) is a Portugal-based photographer, originally from the Bronx, in New York, with a passion for film photography. Their work varies, from street photography to portraiture, to scenes of daily life. In their photographs, Dana intends to "capture the beautiful and intriguing nature of everyday people and their places", seeking authenticity in the moments that are being captured. Amongst some of the works developed by Dana, we can find "from my European window" or "laundry day". As a queer and non-binary person, Dana also aims to challenge structural and systemic discrimination and inequality. Their work has been shown in several exhibits in NYC and beyond, with their Black Lives Matter project being exhibited in Times Square in 2020. In July 2022, Dana hosted their first solo photography exhibition, "In the Moment", in Lisbon and later in Columbus, Ohio.
Dana's photography is set in different places. From New York and Ohio in the United States; to Italy and Portugal in Europe, Dana aims to "capture true moments that are unfolding" rather than constructed ones. And sometimes, these may even happen in literal windows. As far as windows go, their project European Windows shows how small details that we sometimes do not think about are, in fact, special ones; complemented by "laundry day", another of Dana's projects, they reflect:
"Moving to Europe, one thing that is contrasting is doing laundry and hanging it to dry by the window"
The idea of capturing something as small as a window or some pieces of clothes hanging on the balcony to dry in the warm sun can be a part of capturing the peculiar, yet striking aspects of someone else's culture and habits. At the same time, complemented by the window and the clothes, you may see a person looking at the street, looking at you, contemplating the new reality they have in front of them as they open their blinds in the morning to welcome those rays of sunshine. As Dana puts it: "they are the unseen eye, where inside meets out". They observe. They watch from the window. They travel with you as much as you do with them.
At the end of the day, you close a window, return home, and perhaps on the next day, you open it again, and the world you look at is entirely different. Perhaps that is what travelling is: looking both at the new and the old, finding meanings and appreciating your surroundings, what you know and what you do not know yet.