Dane Manary

What your May 2021 looked like

From Guangzhou to Guatemala, here's a snapshot of the world from last month.

by Ryan White
Jun 2 2021, 10:50am

Dane Manary

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 photography@i-d.co

Once again, this month, we received thousands of 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.

two protestors covering their faces with t-shirts wrapped around their head

Ferley Ospina, 26, Cúcuta, Colombia

“Twin brothers during a demonstration in the National Strike of Colombia. These young people are part of the protest against the policies of the Colombian government, the police abuses and the mismanagements of the president.” @ferleyospina

two topless men wrestling on top of horses

Olesya Asanova, 26, Republic of Kalmykia, Russia

“In May I spent time in my homeland – Republic of Kalmykia – that I felt completely disconnected from, but recently felt a sudden urge to explore to better understand my self, my identity and my roots. This was a short journey of digging into some forgotten traditions, focusing on the beauty of this place, and enjoying it for the first time. This is traditional Kalmyk wrestling on horses.” @olesya_asanova

someone lounging on a hammock in their garden, legs sticking out.

Lauren M. Bouza, 23, Miami, USA

“I graduated from college this past month and I've been shooting around finding pleasure in the mundane aspects of everyday life.” 

Close up of a girl with tissue scrunched up her nose to stop a nosebleed.

Manuela Bocaz, 24, Chillán, Chile

“This is a picture of my sister, Antonia. She's finishing her last year of high school online. She's expecting to graduate, go to college and get away from this little town. She's been getting a lot of nosebleeds when she wakes up.” @manuelabocaz

protestors for palestine in new york stood on top of a sculpture of a lion

Fejz Sadiku, 22, New York, USA

“I documented recent protests in New York happening for Palestine. I had the chance to capture mixed emotions but all of them had one thing in common and that is ‘sadness and struggle’.”

a couple sitting eating lunch on a mountain surrounded by orange rocks and a purple sky.

Arwa Omer, 22, Khartoum, Sudan

“This photo was taken on 15 May, on the mountain of Taka in Kassala, Sudan. It was during a trip to my parents' hometown after years of disconnect.” @arwaomer_

A man in a striped blue t-shirt standing under a rusted football goal post on a pitch in the sun.

João Lucas Corrêa de Oliveira, 22, São Paulo, Brazil

“Lazaro is a grimer in the new scene of SP.” @mais1sobrevivente___

a young boy holding a football and wearing a football sculpture on his head

Sackitey Tesa, 25, Accra, Ghana

“I shot this photo after I took a break to focus on school and other stuff. The first thing I wanted to do was to shoot a project that was about fun and playfulness, something that I needed the most at that point in time.” @sackiteytesa

a child sitting on a man's shoulders as both look out over the city of Sao Paulo.

Thales Fazan Bonfim, 28, São Paulo, Brazil

“This image is from my project ‘Vila Moraes’ about a Brazilian suburban neighbourhood I mostly grew up in. Like the working class people who live here, we are all dreamers of a better future, generation to generation.” @thalesfazanbonfim 

Two women in summer clothes sitting on blankets outside a Ferris wheel and fairground rides on Coney Island as night falls.

Dane Manary, 29, New York City, USA

“The evening in Coney Island is most magical. As it gets dark, people stay out in the dark abyss, and the sky puts on a show.” @undertonecommunication

the shadows against a wall of a couple talking intimately.

Shruti Dadwal, 24, Bangalore, India 

“Falling in love more everyday and being the calmness for each other in this chaotic world.” @shruti_dadwal

Two men in Nigeria braiding a woman's hair.

Abbah Paul, 20, Abuja, Nigeria

“It's seen as weird when men in this part of the world learn to make braids. A lot of superstitions are attached to it. I find it really interesting when I see them try their hands at such things. Certainly a pleasing yet hilarious sight!” @Kothegrapher

the back of a girls head as she stares at the city skyline at sunset.

Bruno Zhang, 33, Guangzhou, China

 “In May, the Covid virus came back to Guangzhou. After some heavy rain, my girlfriend was looking into the distance of the city.”

A couple kissing and others taking selfies and photos in front of an exploding volcano in Guatemala.

Vianney Le Caer, 33, Guatemala

“Photo taken on 14 May during an eruption at Pacaya Volcano in Guatemala.” @vlecaer

A man's head sticking out in the aisle of a thameslink train in London

John Bateman, 26, London, UK

“Wednesday evening commute.” @jjanthony

a young girl in a box of styrofoam

Petra Kleis, 37, Copenhagen, Denmark

“She loves boxes and making little caves. I think she just loves the imaginary world that comes with it. I see this pic as a light homage to Juergen Teller.”


Tasiah Iman, 23, Houston, USA

“There are instances in life that make us stop in our present moment and realize the wonder that is always surrounding us. Just zooming by like the moon in the night sky.”

Photo of an empty train station platform in Philadelphia.

Cassandra Hartman, 26, Philadelphia, USA

“It’s been a while.”

mother and daughter sitting on a sofa on a roof in Jerusalem.

Ofir Berman, 29, Tel Aviv, Israel

“This photo was taken during Ramadan in the old city of Jerusalem. Faiza and her two granddaughters, Carmen and Kande, on the roof of their house in front of the Al Aqsa Mosque, before Ramadan prayers.” @ofirberman

protestors in Cape Town

Adam Ahmed, 18, Cape Town, South Africa

“I took this during a Palestinian march in Cape Town, South Africa. I really love this pic because it encapsulates the emotions the people were going through. To be honest I don’t even know what that means but it feels right.” @adam11ahmed

A polish woman in a traditional dress on a motorbike.

Mikołaj Huk, 22, Poland

“The restrictions are starting to ease here, so I spent my month photographing Polish people.”

An old man's hands with a wedding ring holding the breasts of a young woman.

Carly Hughes-Horvath, 25, Vancouver BC, Canada

“We were at the local nude beach and my best friend hit it off with this 75-year-old man. She asked him to hold her breasts. He said yes. We only noticed the wedding ring later.” @carlyhugheshorvath

Man in blue hoodie standing on a roof over the purple New York sunset

Kohl Donnelly, 25, New York City, USA

“After a life changing month in New York, it was time for me to go back home. But on the last night before I left, my friends and I made dinner together, ate on the roof, and watched the sunset over the city.” @kohl_donnely

Man, staring out from the front of his house into the distance.

Guno Lee, 37, Seoul, South Korea

“A father checking the weather for his son who is leaving to go far away.” @rawwstudios

An old man folding samoosas.

Aasiyah Saffodien, 20, Cape Town, South Africa

“This is my grandfather as he folds samoosas. He’s taught me many things but I’ll always remember these: how to ride a bike and how to fold a samoosa.” @aasiyahsaffodien

a girl with long hair applies makeup in the mirror

Sali Williams, 19, California, USA

“This is a picture of my best friend, Celia Fredman, getting ready for her Covid-safe birthday dinner. This was the first time in a year that Celia was able to get ready for something other than her bed, plus a chance to finally celebrate her birthday with the people that she loves. She was pretty excited.” @thebiggestloseronearth_ 


All images courtesy of the artists

my year in photos
my year in a photo