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  • Arts & Culture
  • Issue 41

Inside Out

The opaque allure of window watching.
Words by Baya Simons. Photograph by Salva López.

There’s something thrilling and transgressive about looking through the window of a stranger’s house: It’s a rare insight into how other people really live their lives when they think no one is watching. Voyeuristic as it may seem, there’s something to be gained from seeing and being seen in our private spaces—a sense of communion with strangers, that feels particularly necessary in big cities. 

In Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 thriller Rear Window, this enforced closeness becomes a metaphor for the voyeurism of urban confinement, and the moral responsibility—or lack thereof—between neighbors. Jeff, a wounded documentary photographer, takes to looking out of his Manhattan apartment window and studying his neighbors to pass the time until he can work again. He observes a composer obsessively playing the same song over and over, a ballet dancer who dances rather than walks around her apartment and a lonely


This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-One

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