Pandemic Covid-19: Street Photography in Malioboro Yogyakarta

a man alone in the sreet

Covid-19 Pandemic Street Photography – Hey, folks ! Long time no see. How are you? Things change during a pandemic. Please accept my condolences for the many victims of Covid 19, I hope the family that’s left behind will be given courage. I hope you all are well, always be vigilant and adhere to pandemic protocols everywhere. I hope this pandemic will pass quickly.

Hello, my name is Jinan Ramadhan and thank you for reading my journal. I often take pictures of many people on single portrait, prewedding, and wedding. So many things that I can get from this activity. But in this article, I will tell about street photography during pandemic, below. I know this journal doesn’t seem to have anything relations with my niche photography. But, of course this article has relations with creative workers like me, and you too. I hope the story about street photography during the pandemic can be an inspiration for readers, especially photographers.

Pandemic: Outline Story

We all know that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a large number of victims, limited our space and social interactions, and ultimately paralyze the world’s countries economic aspects. In Indonesia, after the government announced the first positive COVID-19 patients, many people flocked to buy hand sanitizers, masks, disinfectants, and hand wash. Some of them deliberately buy these items in bulk to sell them back for their own profit. Those items became rare commodity. People are restless because supplies of medical masks are running out. Sadly, some of them buy these items at high prices in online shops.

Shopping centers are temporarily closed. The crowd became quiet. People are afraid. The more the crowd, the higher the risk of transmission. Instead of going into lockdown, the local government opted for large-scale social restrictions and strict pandemic protocol so that the economy can continue to run.

The learning process at educational institutions is closed. The method is transformed into online learning with the zoom application.

Many couples delay marriage, while some continue to get married with a limited number of invited guests. Some do not hire photographers or videographers, some still do.

Many people were laid off. Some people change professions, many new services and businesses began to appear, and others still have difficulty finding new jobs.

People who work as online drivers are at the forefront of making it easier for people to get food and drink. However, most people start cooking at home and selectively choose where to buy the staples of their daily life.

As of September 1, 2020 there were 177,571 positive people infected with Covid, 42,009 people were in care, 128,057 had recovered, and 7,505 people died, and one of the factors exacerbating this increase is the indiscipline of civilians in complying with the government’s pandemic protocol.

About 3 weeks after social unrest over the pandemic, many items that were scarce are now available in some supermarkets, except for hand sanitizers and hand wash. I finally got powdered milk for my nephew who was 2 years old, but haven’t found hand sanitizer and hand wash at that time. Face masks are also still a rare item.

But now the situation is gradually recovering. The commodity that were previously scarce are now available in supermarkets so that people can live their activities in daily life with a few adjustments and government pandemic protocol properly. Even people can make their own face masks from fabric or buy ‘fabric face masks’ that are available in stores according to WHO health standards.

That’s a glimpse of the pandemic situation that I know and experience. To be honest, makes me sad. I tried to help distribute aid to the victims of the pandemic, and my friends; especially from Bandung were willing to help. This touched me, when I found out there was a real friend who cares about my requests on social media in connection with the dissemination of aid information. Thank you very much.

Street Photography in Malioboro during Pandemic

One day I took the motorbike to an authorized repair shop for regular service. The process usually takes about one hour. Since the time is quite long, I already plan to bring a camera and take pictures to fill my spare time. I was moved to photograph the atmosphere of a place during the pandemic. Then, after finishing administrative affairs at the repair shop, I walked towards Malioboro.

I’m not really afraid of pandemics. But I am also on the alert. I use a face mask, bring hand sanitizer, wash my hands regularly, keep my distance when talking to other people, take a shower as soon as I get home. At that time, I didn’t speak to the person there at all. Yes, anyone. I use face mask, wear gloves, keep the distance, and bring hand sanitizer.

At the beginning of Malioboro Street, vehicles rarely pass. Many shops are closed. A couple of foreign tourists walking along the Malioboro pedestrian without wearing a face mask. Newspaper deliveryman insert the newspaper through the open slit of the garage door. Gentlemen playing chess, one person watches and comments on their game. Two female employees sit and chat in front of the shop where they work.

That afternoon, I didn’t meet many people there. Besides being quiet, the weather is also so hot. It gave the impression that I was in a sparsely populated place.

I have included the photos I took at that time, below. The tone for street photography and some of my other photography works are inspired by analog photo tones.

a man walking alone in street
two gentlemen in front of rolling door
public phone and woman with umbrella
hotel and sky
three people
a man sleeping
reflection of me

Today: The New Normal and Protocol

Are you curious about the current condition of Malioboro? More people have visited there than the last time. Yea, I don’t know exactly what their motivation was there. Everyone including myself can assume that they are eager to unwind after a long period of quarantine, shopping, or curious about the current situation and condition of public space.

The difference is; In the early days of the pandemic, I was only advised to wash my hands and also check my temperature near “The Zero Kilometer Crossing”. This is the end of Malioboro Street. Today; At the beginning of Malioboro Street, the security officer asked me to register as a visitor by scanning the bar code displayed on the pedestrian floor. You can see the photo below. I shot using my Iphone 5s. Barcode scans will automatically connect us to the Yogyakarta city government WhatsApp number, as well as a link that directs us to the official website of the Yogyakarta city government.

On the website, we will get evidence or information that we have registered as visitors. We can show this evidence to the security officers in each new zone that we want to enter, until the end of Malioboro Street. So, don’t immediately close the web browser tab on your smartphone.

I purposely censored the barcode.

When I was here at the start of the pandemic, I rarely find civilians walking around here. I only saw workers repairing public space facilities. Now you can take a look at the photos that I have included.

Now people don’t hesitate to sit on chairs, or dare to rent a rickshaw. I can’t conclude; Are public space facilities or public transportation truly free of Corona, now? But, of course we still have to think positively and believe that the city government is doing its best. Yea, of course we also have to comply with health protocols whenever and wherever we are.

Condolences, without losing hope for a better future for all of us. Hopefully we pass these times together, and may the pandemic end quickly.


Jinan Ramadhan

4 Replies to “Pandemic Covid-19: Street Photography in Malioboro Yogyakarta”

  1. Pratanti

    It is not about photograph only, but it also has a lot of information about yogyakarta government city policy to againts the pandemic. Together we will pass this situation. Thanks a lot.

    • Jinan Ramadhan

      Masih belum selo ya Mas? Kapan-kapan jika dunia sudah pulih dari pandemic, kita bisa street barenglah. Tapi aliran Saya malah justru minimalism. Hehehe

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