Through interviews and medium format film, I set out to capture a comprehensive and intimate portrait of local burlesque performers during the first winter of the devastating Covid-19 pandemic. I wanted to provided a glimpse into this community’s uniquely profound collective loss when the lights went out on stages across the world.

I approached The New York Times and they paired me with writer Julia Carmel. Together, we conducted interviews followed by photoshoots of a dozen burlesque performers in the venues where they had tantalized fans in a past life. In the hauntingly empty spaces, they posed and danced for no audience beyond my camera.

Among those we interviewed and photographed was one of my closest friends, Veronica Viper.

Having a front row seat to Veronica’s grief led me to this project. She and the others we spoke with were candid in sharing struggles with mental health, weight gain, a missing sex drive, a diminished income, a loss of community.

Some lost a sense of self.

I wanted to make something that was intimately honest and beautiful at a time when I, like many, struggled to get through the dark days of 2020.

Veronica told us she was “Waiting to be alive again.”

So were we.

Artist Bios

  • Kholood Eid

    Kholood Eid is a Palestinian American documentary photographer, filmmaker and educator based in New York City and Seattle who is known for her intimate portraiture. In 2020, she was a recipient a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, alongside colleagues, for The New York Times investigative series ‘’Exploited.’’

    Her work explores the depths of vulnerability, the strength in survival, the beauty in adversity and the intersectionality of identity through blending conceptual and reportage practices. In 2023, she launched Wet Nose Pawject—a dog portrait business—to incorporate more levity in life and have an outlet for her obsessive love of dogs.

    Clients include The New York Times, National Geographic, TIME and The New Yorker among other publications and she has taught at Columbia University, New York University and the Bronx Documentary Center.


  • Photoville


    Founded in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, Photoville was built on the principles of addressing cultural equity and inclusion, which we are always striving for, by ensuring that the artists we exhibit are diverse in gender, class, and race.

    In pursuit of its mission, Photoville produces an annual, city-wide open air photography festival in New York City, a wide range of free educational community initiatives, and a nationwide program of public art exhibitions.

    By activating public spaces, amplifying visual storytellers, and creating unique and highly innovative exhibition and programming environments, we join the cause of nurturing a new lens of representation.

    Through creative partnerships with festivals, city agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, Photoville offers visual storytellers, educators, and students financial support, mentorship, and promotional & production resources, on a range of exhibition opportunities.

    For more information about Photoville visit,

Waiting To Be Alive Again

 archive : 2023

Featuring: Kholood Eid

Presented by: Photoville
  • Photoville

Supported by:

  • Diversify Photo


ON VIEW AT: Container 3

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