Photography Ori Harpaz

What your April 2021 looked like

From Punjab to Puerto Rico, here's a snapshot of the world from last month.

by Ryan White
05 May 2021, 6:15am

Photography Ori Harpaz

i-D closed out 2020 with My Year in a Photo, a 12-month retrospective that brought in hundreds of incredible submissions from all over the world. We enjoyed it so much that from now on, we’ll be running it as a regular feature. At the end of each month, we’ll open our inbox to photographs from anyone and everyone — just email

This month we received almost 3000 submissions, making the process of editing this story even harder. For anyone whose images did not make the cut, please do keep sending us your photography, as we’ve been overwhelmed by the quality of the submissions and want to keep sharing as much of it as possible.

blurred figures in the foreground with a sunset backdrop of mountains in argentina

Facundo Gelosa, 20, Córdoba, Argentina

“This is a very special one for me. Those are my friends on top of Casa de Piedra staring at the sunset in Córdoba, Argentina after spending the whole day in the river celebrating my 20th birthday with lots of joy and gratefulness.” @facundogelosa

a close up of a person's hand, leaning on a car bonnet

Giorgi Zatiashvili, 23, Tbilisi, Georgia

"Periodically, stains disappear and new ones appear on her body." @giorgi_zatiashvili

a young boy shows off his christmas tree bracelet

Matthew Kayode, 23, Lagos, Nigeria

“We missed playing outside.” @pharsirme

a red haired woman recines on the floor

Dion Bierdrager, 23, Seoul, South Korea

“I recently moved to Seoul and this was such an exciting and overwhelming experience. Even during Covid, it is such an energetic and lively city. After a while I noticed how much I missed being in nature. My friend and I decided to enjoy the rising temperatures and go the mountains to relax and escape.” @dionbierdrager

vans in a dark carpark

Cameron Emuss, 23, London, UK

“I want to believe the pandemic is nearly over; I want to believe we're nearing the light at the end of the tunnel, but after a year of things seemingly only getting worse, I just can't.” @cameronemuss

a nude person stands in the corridor of their home, looking to camera

Gabriel Lopez, 19, Los Angeles, California

“In April, I learned how to make color prints in the darkroom. Printing isn’t easy at all. It’s much more time consuming than scanning negatives and editing them in Photoshop and everything is done in the dark so, it takes a while to get used to. But, there is something so fulfilling and beautiful about this chaotic image-making process.” @gabrielslopez

two women wearing white and purple chador coverings, a strip of sunlight lands on their faces

Ismail Zaidy, 23, Marrakech, Morocco

“This picture holds the spirit of Ramadan, which is a sacred month in Islamic countries. In this picture you can see the white, the pure of our religion.” @l4artiste

a man wearing a mask and headphones takes a mirror selfie in a list

Dai Asano, 24, Tokyo, Japan

“In this photo, I found a notion of missing. We are stuck somewhere in this world temporarily waiting for the time to get out. But what we need is to learn how to see right now at this moment and indulge in everything.” @tokyo106

a sleeping man wearing a mask on a flight

Yixiao (Daniel) Qin, 22, Seattle to Los Angeles

“Taken on an airplane to LA with my friends, realizing this is this a reality for us and for our generation. In the future looking back, we will be able to tell the next generation about this pandemic.” @imdanielqin

children playing in a colourful water playground by the sea

Will Pippin, 21, Puerto Rico

“I was finally able to go to Puerto Rico and see where my girl is from. I fell in love all over again.” @will_pippin

a dark silhouette against an orange backdrop

Shitanda, 23, Nairobi, Kenya

“An exploration of the mind’s presence and absence from reality, following a journey through the known and unknown.” @shitanda

a topless man shot against a purple sky with a bolt of lightning almost reaching the ground

Mahamadou Sangare, 22, Mali

“This a pic of my best friend, shot yesterday after the real first rain during 2021. We are in Mali and getting rain is just a blessing.” @tchraac

a nurse wearing a mask, taken through a steamed-up window

Aisha Bada, 20, Lagos, Nigeria

“Nurse K.V walking past a Covid-19 patients’ room in LASUTH isolation centre.” @aisha_bada

a smoking field in punjab india, caused by burning crops

Guntas Singh Grewal, 21, Punjab, India

“This month was full of self-doubt, confusion and fear for me. India is facing its worst Covid crisis right now. Oxygen shortages, lack of ICU beds and ventilators, and people waiting for hours to cremate their loved ones. The farmer's protests continue in Delhi with no sign of a resolution. My sister works as a doctor in Delhi and everyday I worry about her safety and think about my inability to help out. This image was taken in the fields close to my town where the stubble burning has started again which will contribute to worsening the quality of air in Delhi. The tree surrounded by smoke and flames reminded me of her.” @guntas_grewal

a woman in a dress standing in the doorway of a fancy bathroom

Skye Evelyn Matthew, 20, London, UK

“Shot at the iconic Portobello Hotel in London.” @sematthew_

a screaming man being held by his shoulders by a smiling friend behind him

Ron John, 28, Ajman, UAE

“Everything’s gonna be alright.” @__ronjohn

a red-lit entrance hall with a circle ceiling feature

Waleed Sabawi, 20, Amman, Jordan

“This is the main entrance to my house, and I just think it’s a cool picture.”

a car wrapped in clear film

Natalia Shlyakhovaya, Moscow, Russia

“To be honest, it was shot a day before April, but it’s a monthly recurring dystopia.” @kofe

an old man in a beige jacket with silver hair, sitting outside at a table

Olivia Dimou, 26, New York, USA

“My vaccinated grandfather, who I finally got to see after a year apart.” @oliviadimou

a pair of tabi shoes and a foot wearing tabi socks

Eleni, 34, Athens, Greece

“In April, Tom moved to Greece.” @mwvel

a red porche on the back of a truck, taken from the cab

Julio Resendez, 30, Texas, USA

“26 years ago, we arrived to the US with little to nothing. I've watched my dad continuously earn everything he has. I'm fortunate to have him as a role model. This is a photo captures the 48-hour non-stop round trip we took in April from Houston to Ann Arbor to pick up his dream car, a 1973.5 Porsche 911T.” @julioresendez

a tanned woman in a bathing suit holding a chihuahua and a flag on the beach, taken from behind

Ori Harpaz, 38, Florida, USA

“I took my April photo when I was down in Florida for work. She wanted her photo taken but asked only to do it from her back. Even after living in the US for over 35 years as a transgender woman, she still fears her family back home in Colombia would try to hurt her if they recognised her face. We later tried to have our pups play together, but that didn't go well…” @oharpaz

twin girls wearing the same pink pinafore dresses stand in the road in front of Table Mountain

William Sheepskin, 25, Cape Town, South Africa

“I made this photograph a couple of weeks ago when a wildfire ravaged parts of Table Mountain and the University of Cape Town.” @willysheepskin      

a person in oversized denim overalls stands with their foot on a skateboard in the sunlight

Ryan Razon, 27, New York, USA

“I’m happy to see April go, it was a really though month, but after it rains the sun comes out.” @chancetheryan

an old japanese man wearing a mask sits on a hospital bed watching sumo wrestling on TV

Timotée Lambrecq, 29, Tokyo, Japan

“View from my hospital bed in Saku (a small city in Japan's countryside). After a snowboard accident I had to spend some time in the hospital, away from my home, surrounded by people speaking a language I don’t understand and with the Covid regulations, not allowed to have any visits from my friends. It was (and still is) quite a surreal experience which brought me new perspectives on a country I’ve been living in for the last two years.” @moussti

a man driving a taxi lights a cigarette

Sarah Sarofim, 22, Egypt 

“This was the first time I shot some film photos in a car. I remember how this traffic light — at a busy intersection in downtown Cairo — felt longer than usual. There were two motorcycles in front of the taxi, with a pair on each one of them. Amid the chaos, the people walking around, the honks, this person was calmly lighting his cigarette with a small red match box, and things seemed to pause for a bit.” @sarofemme

old school class photos

Youjin Shin, 19, Seoul, South Korea

“I'm trying hard to get to know myself and reset my mind, by looking photos from the past.”

a black-and-white shot of a man standing in front of a gate in an Avenged Sevenfold T-shirt

Layeni Kamal, 21, Lagos, Nigeria

“This is a portrait of my friend – the first time I saw him in two years.”

a trans man admiring his shirtless body post top surgery with a mirror selfie in his doctor's office

Max Figueroa, 21, California, USA

“This April I admire my new chest as I am finally fully post-op top surgery.”

a man wearing a black cap smiles from behind a pink flower

Lewis King, 24, Cornwall, UK

“I met my first boyfriend on Tinder during the UK lockdown back in 2020. After months of talking, we finally met when the rules got lifted in March and have been together for two months. I’ve never been in so love and he’s my muse.” @lewjrdn

a person wearing a string of pearls in the shower. taken from behind, they look over their shoulder

Wenzile Harley Dube, 22, Botswana

“This is a photograph I took of my friend Keletso. We had agreed to take the photograph in their shower but I had no idea why I wanted that setting so badly. Then it hit me whilst I was editing. When I'm in the shower I truly feel like myself — I have honest dialogues with myself about where I am and where I'm heading in life. I let the water run over my skin as all my thoughts pour out. Life has felt imprisoning lately with the world still trying to free itself from Covid-19, so it makes sense that the first place my mind would jump to is the shower… my place of freedom.” @wenz_hd

a large smoking bin in a public park, shot in black-and-white with an onlooker in the distance

Louis Hammond, 22, Southampton, UK

“I stood and watched as the man on the left stood and watched. The smouldering remains of his disposable bbq catching the bed of dried rubbish alight on this day of British sun. Maybe not his finest moment.” @houis_lammond 

a woman leans backwards over a white painted surface, her hands behind her head and her stomach exposed

Karl-hens Pompilus, 22, New York, USA

“Looking at this photo makes me feel really good because it screams so much good nostalgia. It reminds of my high school years. Back when things were simple for all of us and my only worry was that I was the only black kid that listened to rock/metal music.” @karlhens_

a young boy sits in the shallows, looking to camera as the water laps around him

Steven Molina Contreras, 22, El Salvador

"For the entire month of April, I moved down to live with my family in El Salvador, who I haven't seen for two years. We made images together and adventured around the country, finding our way to the ocean and enjoying the beauty available in our small but incredible country." @stevenmcontreras

a super close up shot of an older woman's face, with bright pink lipstick and large acetate glasses

Beth Sacca, 23, New York, USA

“My mom and I finally both got vaccinated and I was able to get up close to her for the first time in a while to take her picture. Therefore, I went almost too close.” @beth.sacca

a tattooed woman wearing a lavender nike sports bra, her hair in two braids, with bruising around her eyes

Gianna Vadino, 30, Pennsylvania, USA

“This is a self portrait from April a few days after I took a foot to the nose in jiu jitsu. When I look at this photo, I feel strong, confident and present. I guess this photo is kind of a metaphor for the past year.” @gianna__v

a close up of stretch marks on the chest and underarm area of a black body

Jesse van den Berg, 25, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

“When we talk about queer representation we should talk about the whole spectrum of queer representation. Being queer is not only about white cis able bodies, being queer is about intersectionality, diversity, celebration of all.” @jessenijmegen

a person wearing overalls and a white T-shirt, multiplied 6 times over different coloured backgrounds

Designlesss, 27, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

"Same shit, different day." @designlesss


All images courtesy the artist

my year in photos
my year in a photo