Book Report Corner

by Sabitha F.

In a first for Night Beats News, let’s have a look at a work that tells a story in pictures rather than words.

Social Distortion, a limited edition photography ‘zine by Stephanie Saroiberry, is an evocative, melancholic work about life under lockdown. Through a series of Polaroids—a medium that I absolutely adore and which is criminally underused in the age of Instagram—Stephanie explores Ohio at the beginning of the pandemic during April and May 2020. Her dreamlike shots of worn billboards and empty playgrounds paint a picture of a world emptied and abandoned, their faded pastels in stark contrast with the bleak landscape.

This ‘zine brims with nostalgia. I’m reminded of my childhood in empty, inhuman spaces designed for cars with people as an afterthought, and this wistfulness is enhanced by the use of Polaroids. The high production values emphasise the subtle details in these faded, distressed photos. Even the title harkens to the music of the 80s and 90s. When you’re isolated and lonely, the past is what you have left, and this ‘zine does an incredible job of summoning that sense of loss and memory.

There are only 50 copies in existence, so get yours while they last.

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