Through The Eyes Of A Curious Stranger

Think of your last commute …

You bustle onto the train, right?
Eyes sweeping left to right, you look for the seat furthest away from everyone else – not by the door, people will just be knocking into you the whole way. Plus, people panic sit there when they board later down the line. Maybe somewhere close to the middle, it’s the furthest point from both doors. Tactical seat selection, done.

The weight of your bags drop with a sigh from your shoulder. Luggage rack or by your feet? It’s rude to put them on the seat, right? Although that might stop someone from sitting next to you.

Tempting. But no. Luggage rack – you’ll be a good person.
But you will sit in the aisle seat until the train starts moving. People will be less likely to climb over you, then you can scoot across to rest your head against the window. Once you know you’re safe.

You pull out your phone from your pocket and, in a mindless act of muscle memory, open and close your favourite apps in an entirely over-practiced routine. You barely notice what’s going on around you – you wilfully drown in the distraction of technology.

But still, you wince every time someone passes, eyes flicking up from the screen. The only thing worse than sitting next to a stranger is a stranger sitting directly in front of you. Knocking knees and hours of avoiding direct eye contact – way, way too intimate before you’ve maxed out your allotted caffeine allowance … right?

Sound familiar?

When was it, we wonder, that as human beings we became quite so adept at insulating ourselves? At making ourselves islands amongst the sea of people? And what do we miss in the little moments, when we’re so busy dunking our consciousness into the ether of the internet?

Dina Alfasi has a very different commute from her home in Israel to her engineering job at a hospital. Rather than a time to shield and burrow inward, Dina uses the time to notice and see. The train, or the bus, is a mobile studio and her iPhone the most discreet of cameras … hiding, in plain sight.

Her subtlety – and the adrift state of her subjects – allows her to capture true candids, an honest and vulnerable representation of a person, through the eyes of a curious stranger.

The results are a series of photographs that celebrate the genuine magic of the human connection. Of the power of the noticing. And the wonders that can be found in the face of another person … if we just take the time to look.

Her work makes us wonder … when did we stop seeing each other? And why? Because, shit … it sure is beautiful when we do.

– See more of Dina’s work here

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