The blue of the far distance

by Emilia Martin

I looked out towards the stars ever since I remember.
I can barely name a few constellations and sometimes I confuse satellites (or even planes) for the cosmic planets. Yet stargazing has brought me comfort whenever life felt too narrow. I believe it to be a natural human act to look up and not down while looking for the answers, while wondering or seeking distance. An act that feels almost as natural and instinctive as breathing, and yet happens to be threatened by the highest and growing levels of light pollution, a symptom of the era of capitalism.
Stargazing is inherently escapist, and escapism is the main lead I follow throughout this story. I see escapism as a common thread where my fascination meets with the ones of the protagonists I come across throughout this journey.
There is a meet a man who built a planetarium in his living room in order to keep sane during his son’s deadly illness. An astrophotographer who through his observations of the sky discovered over hundred planetoids. The observatory club of retired men in one of the most light polluted city in the world, who regardless of the light conditions meet every Friday to look through the telescope.
“Finding this place is just like stargazing.
You can look up once or twice and all you see is some splashed stars and not much else, but once you start really looking, really paying careful attention, you discover some things that are hidden, things that are truly special, maybe the things that nobody has ever seen before.
This place is exactly like this”
Through all the encounters and many more, I realised, that as I look through my camera lens and as they gaze into space, we all look for the same thing:
an escape, hope and sense of connection.