6th September, 2020

by Victoria Campa

I was living in California when quarantine hit. My sister was traveling around New Zealand, oblivious to the state of the rest of the world, until it became clear that she would either have to go home or spend the indeterminate future alone, halfway across the world. Our family was in Europe, and the continent had already closed its borders by that point, so she booked a direct flight to California instead. Neither of us believed that she would make it until she ran into my arms at the airport, and we drove home with the windows down, listening to the California playlist she had created, full of our favorite songs.


We spent the next few months together at my house, trying to adapt to the situation with my roommates and their partners. My sister and I hadn't lived together since I had left home six years ago, and now we were sleeping in the same bed and sharing every waking (and sleeping) moment. When I think back on the first few weeks, I remember it as a time of rediscovery. I learned that she sets the table before every meal, and that she practically licks the plate after eating. She learned that I steal the covers in the middle of the night, and that I am more politically minded than I was when I left home. Most importantly, she met my friends, she spent time in my city and in my house, she learned about my world in a way that she hadn't, that no one had, before all this. I have always felt myself divided between who I am at home with my family, and who I am alone in the world. For the first time, my sister bridged this gap. She is the only person in the world who really knows both these sides of me.


At the end of May, the lease on my apartment ended. Our plan had been to go back home to our family but traveling was not an option. We decided to make the best of being stuck in California and negotiated a really low price on a place by the beach. Our days there were spent reading, weaving, taking walks by the ocean and into town, watching a film every night, and making banana cream pie in the mornings. These photos are a tribute to Monterey, the place that served as a safe haven for us during times of uncertainty, and to my sister, my best friend. 


Victoria Campa grew up in Madrid, Spain, and has traveled around the world with her camera. She mostly lenses women in quiet moments within their environments, and she is interested in exploring the passage of time, strength in vulnerability, and inner lives through stories. She writes a bi-weekly newsletter about art, film, and writing called things to look at. You can explore her work at