(Reuters) – Children confined to their homes under lockdown are drawing what they miss most – friends at school, grandparents, football and green open spaces.
Reku Matsui, 8, and Yaya Matsui, 12, pose for a photograph while holding pictures that they drew during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, as they stand on the balcony of their home in Tokyo, Japan, April 19, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Regardless of where they are, the themes are often the same.
From Tokyo to Buenos Aires, and New York to Kathmandu, youngsters have taken to their balconies or front lawns to display and explain the drawings they have made to Reuters photographers.
Eight-year-old Reku Matsui in Tokyo has drawn himself between his grandparents, all three of them smiling together.
“I miss being with my grandmother and my grandfather. Also, I want to go to my grandmother’s house,” he said.
His older sister Yaya, 12, has drawn a picture of herself and a friend. “What I want to do the most right now is hang out with my friends.”
In the German town of Bad Honnef, near Bonn, 6-year-old Tom explains: “I have painted a picture of the house of grandma and grandpa, because I miss them so much.”
Besides longed-for grandparents, children are also depicting the sports they miss.
Ivan Posta, 8, and brother Vince, 11, who live in the Hungarian capital Budapest, have drawn huge soccer balls.
“I drew a soccer ball, because we can’t play football in the garden as there are trees and bushes everywhere,” said Vince.
Thousands of miles away in the Nigerian city of Lagos, 11-year-old Olatunji Adebayo has also drawn a huge soccer ball.
“I miss playing football with my friends before the lockdown … I feel sad about the lockdown,” he said.
Flowers, woods and green spaces also feature prominently.
Jane Hassebroek, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, said: “I chose to draw my local park because it’s a place me and my friends can hang out with each other away from school and home and just have fun.”
“This lockdown has made me feel pretty trapped because I live in New York City so it is hard to social distance when there are so many people around,” the 13-year-old added.
Sandithi Illeperuma is 14 and lives in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo.
In her picture, a girl sits alone in the bottom right corner with her knees up to her chin, wearing a face mask. At the top, a group of female figures in swirling skirts dance together, enjoying themselves.
“Before the lockdown, I used to draw fun and creative stuff. But after the lockdown … I started to draw the things I missed the most … I draw my emotions. It has made me feel very lonely because I’m the only child,” she added.
Some youngsters have tackled the coronavirus itself.
Nipoon Kitkrailard, 10, who lives in Thailand’s Samut Prakan province, has drawn the virus as a monster coming to invade the world, but medical workers and items including hand gel and face masks hold it back.
In China, where the outbreak of the new coronavirus began, and where the lockdown has been lifted first, 11-year-old Li Congchen in Beijing has made an intricate series of drawings showing the virus arriving on a “bat aircraft”, people willing to give their lives to stand up to it, and in the end human beings defeating it with “vaccine guns.”
For a photo essay on this, click reut.rs/2x38YXY
Reporting by Reuters photographers; Writing by Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Mike Collett-White