Sion Fullana / The Island Within

Posted January 29, 2012

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Sion Fullana
lives in New York City.

As a man who was born on a Mediterranean island, for which my own curiosity had outgrown, I found myself arriving in Manhattan… this new and bigger island, in 2006. This fulfilled my childhood wish of being able to come live here after my first visit at 16, and sparked in me a need to see the world and learn from it.

In this city of promised dreams, with time on my hands, I found myself roaming the streets with music in my ears and hungry, open eyes. I’d observe couples in love, parents playing with kids, crowds of overexcited tourists, co-workers on lunch breaks, friends hanging out, etc. I witnessed joy and happiness in the eyes and smiles of those who thrived in the social environment and the group experience.

But my eyes also landed on the ones who seemed lonely… those who, even when surrounded by millions of others, let their souls wander into silent daydreaming. Perhaps slaves to the “what ifs?” of previous decisions in their lives, or perhaps wondering how to get closer to the dreams that had brought them to the island in the first place. Could they be remembering that kiss that had shaken their soul, or the loved ones that were gone? The bills that needed be paid, or the unpleasant conversations to be had? Or perhaps they were pondering the promise of a better tomorrow or that project that was about to succeed.

In the midst of a crowd, I was on my own and so were they… islanders crossing paths for a mere second, likely to never happen again. As we moved through the island, sometimes we’d acknowledge one another and I’d find their eyes on mine for a fleeting instant, and other times not. I would just remember them while they would never even know I had been there. So I started shooting photographs, striving to keep mementos of those connections (or missed connections.) Like messages in a bottle, I let those images float away in the cyber-sea, hoping that some day the ones in those photos may find them and I could get to learn their stories… the ones that I had only dreamed.