Alone Together is an ongoing photographic project by Aristotle Roufanis, for which the London-based photographer takes photos of large metropoles in a way that only tiny, individual apartment lights are visible. Hardly recognizable in the dark, some of the world’s most famous metropoles such as London, Paris, Miami and Athens are transformed into sprawling canvases of anonymity, where countless people have decided to make their home but hardly connect to each other. The project takes this phenomenon of social alienation in urban centers as a starting point, and adds a positive, optimistic twist to it.
“The bigger the city, the lonelier we feel”
“The bigger the city, the lonelier we feel”, comments Aristotle Roufanis, who recently moved to London from another bustling urban centre, namely his hometown of Athens, Greece. “In a big city, we are very efficient in covering all our consumerist needs, but we forget our need for companionship. It is important for people to understand that although lonely, they are not alone. Individuality does not equal to alienation.” For the artist, the individual lights shining in the city at night symbolize persons stranded in the dark void of a detached world. By taking photos of cities at dusk and dawn, Aristotle Roufanis points out where life is in the big city, since in the absence of light pollution, only the places where people live are illuminated. Even in photos where recognizable landmarks can be seen, like in the case of Paris, the photographer literally shifts the spotlight from the public to the private, which in turn brings attention to the distance between the isolated lights seen in the dark.