KICKSTART THIS: Richard Renaldi is Touching Strangers.

Photographer Richard Renaldi has been working on a series of photographs where he asks complete strangers to physically interact while posing together for a portrait. He’s now turned to Kickstarter to help fund his project. 

He’s asking them to break the cultural boundaries of human society that tend to draw us to others who are similar and familiar—rather than to strangers who are different.

We as a society are all inclined to suffer as racists, sexists, or ageists to some degree—as long as we keep a mindset that those who are different than us are somehow threatening to us. It is only when we see others as individuals—as people, that we discover our similarities and bond culturally.

Renaldi uses touch, and the power of photography to melt away the cultural boundaries in human society.

Renaldi’s objective was to introduce an unpredictable variable into a traditional photographic formula, and to create spontaneous and fleeting relationships between complete strangers. The portraits are extremely difficult to make, involving complex negotiations with the participants that push them past comfort levels, into a physical intimacy normally reserved for loved ones or friends. Touching Strangers creates intimate and ephemeral relationships that exist only for the moment of the photograph. The images are beautiful and strange, crossing out of the zones of safe physical intimacy with strangers and into deep emotional landscapes never photographed before.

Check out “Touching Strangers” on Kickstarter. 

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