In August 2020, Antonella (12), who lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, vowed to cut her long hair only when she could resume in-person classes at school, which had been suspended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Antonella said she was offering up her most precious treasure in exchange for her school life back. Her hair was her identity. She felt she lost her identity without school, and said: “When I finally go back to school they will know I’m a different person, I feel like a different person

I met Antonella because of my long-term project researching and photographing women with long hair. As a result of Antonella’s vow, I refocused the project to tell the story of a crisis in education, and of young students’ lives in lockdown.

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