These photos are from my ongoing project “Things I stole”, dedicated to a painful new dating strategy commonly known as “ghosting”. Many people around me have been on the receiving end of this practice, in some cases more than once.
Because of the specific character of the virtual world, we sometimes forget that behind all those profiles there are real people, with real feelings and no “delete” button. One doesn’t need to be a heartless person to be a “ghoster”. The virtual environment makes it so easy, that sometimes we just do it.
The rationale behind the decision to engage in ghosting is the assumption that this is the easiest and least painful way to deal with the situation at hand. Many people make themselves believe that it is easier to be ignored. Instead of heartbreaking and potentially humiliating arguments and explanations, the “victim” is left with the clearest of all possible hints.
I wanted to illustrate the difference in character between the physical and the virtual space, as well as how and where the two meet. I paired the photos with different usernames, which are representative of those commonly used in online dating spaces. In the photos I captured people naked, which to me represents the most vulnerable, real and delicate state of being.
Mano Svanidze (b. 1992) is a Georgian photographer currently based in Tbilisi. She is a member and co-founder of Georgian Photo Collective – 90’x Collective. Her work has been exhibited in several countries such as Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, UK, Norway, Sweden, Germany and Italy. Selected magazines and features include L’OEil de la Photographie, Dodho magazine, Post Pravda magazine, F-stop magazine, Positive magazine, House of Girls, Chai Khana, FinestrAperta, Kiosk der demokratie or The kickplate project.