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 Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 50 Close Knit Meet the weavers keeping traditional Egyptian tapestrymaking alive. Arts & Culture Issue 50 The Old Gays Inside a Californian TikTok “content house” of a very different stripe. Arts & Culture Issue 50 New Roots The Palestinian art and agriculture collective sowing seeds of community. Arts & Culture Issue 50 Angela Trimbur An all-out tour de force. Arts & Culture Issue 50 Peace & Quiet In the UK, a centuries-old Quaker meeting house encourages quiet reflection. Arts & Culture Issue 50 Free Wheelers On the road with London’s Velociposse Cycling Club.