This series presents moments of solitude in the modern age. The hustle-bustle of today is most
apparent in urban environments, where swarms of unfamiliar faces overflow familiar places,
human contact is more often a bump than a hug, stress rises and morale dies. It’s funny how as
our world becomes seemingly more connected, we find ourselves more and more alone.
Loneliness is on every street corner and until recently, I couldn’t stand it. 

However, as I’ve learned and as I hope you may too, that being alone does not have to be lonely.
It does not have to be boring or sad, wearing or depressive. Being alone can be in solitude, the
state of being alone without the feeling of loneliness but with the feeling of individuality. The
feeling that we hold a special seat in the amphitheater of this beautiful world. 

To embrace solitude is to be present in yourself and in your community; to wave your country’s
flag in the midst of an open plaza, to sell redolent secondhand books at a colorful local market, to
jump onto electrical boxes and effuse the sweet melodies of your brassy trumpet, to walk your
dog through the pacifying shadows of ancient buildings, to smile to yourself as you wait for your
coffee, to wander aimlessly over the old stones of narrow allies. To embrace solitude is to
recognize yourself as an individual within a community, to realize that your individuality
is only possible with this community alongside. Our modern, urban lives are guided by a
paradox: the desire to live and breath in the wonders of civilization but the will to sacrifice
almost everything to get there. Through focusing my lens on the individual urban dweller,
SOLITUDE highlights the power of being alone. The more one seeks, the more one is found. 


  • Ben Segal

    Thrive Global Campus Ambassador from New York University

    Ben Segal is a creative living in New York City. He's in his last year at NYU where he's combining the fields of art and philosophy in designing his own major at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Born in Israel and having lived in Paris for the past 8 months, Ben is a big fan of the world.