Iran is one of three countries to be hit the hardest by the coronavirus outbreak in the world, after China and Italy, and for over 20 days now, the entire country has been on lockdown. 

The quarantine has led to many changes in people's daily routines; while some have resorted to art, music and writing, others have found refuge in the kitchen; a space that has historically served as an epicentre for Middle Eastern families' houses.

Iranian artist Golrokh Nafisi started a series of sketches, Quarantine Kitchen, documenting the daily scenes and stories of Iranians' newfound time in the kitchen during quarantine. Her friends told her stories of experimentation, of their recreations of recipes they hadn't made in years, and of a spirit of sharing - and solidarity - that all stems from the kitchen, inspiring her to create art reflecting that spirit keeping Iranians going amid dire circumstances.
“Quarantine Kitchen is where we live these days. Thousands of recipes circulate between Iranians to encourage them to stay home and cook. The kitchen, heart of our homes, is the heart of the quarantine,” she writes.

The drawings show men and women in the kitchen, some reading out of cookbooks; others seemingly dancing around the room. The sketches also show people's thoughts and concerns when it comes to making - and sourcing - food during the quarantine. 

One woman's thought bubble reads, “Recycled foods: What foods can be mixed together? How can we design a food plan for ourselves with variety? How can we come up with ways not to have repetitive lunches and dinners?”

The ongoing series is a heart-warming portrayal of life in a quiet, more precarious time - in a time when life as we know it is flipped over its head, and time slows down to accommodate both old and new joys.

You can follow more of Nafisi's work on her website here or her Instagram account here.

All photos and translations courtesy of Ajam Media Collective.