All photographs taken by Richard Renaldi. Used with permission.
It began with a new but very simple concept – to get strangers in bus stations, people who come from different backgrounds, to pose together in the same photographs. That was how photographer Richard Renaldi’s startling series “Touching Strangers” started.
The series took a life of its own – from its humble origins in the streets of New York back in 2007 to, overwhelmingly funded by Kickstarter pledgers who were moved by his work, a beautiful book whose collection of images were taken all over the United States.
According to Flickr, “Touching Strangers” is as much a personal endeavor for Richard as it is a public project. But while this is true, it’s also, on some level, personal to his audience as well as his subjects, who willingly posed for him intimately – whether it be holding hands or embracing – despite not knowing one another.
At times awkward, most of the time poignant, this very revealing and rather controversial series has evoked mixed reactions from people – from discomfort to tears. One thing’s for sure, however. Richard has given us a rare gift. In a world full of warring and quarrelling states, this series reminds us that no matter how different we are from one another, we can still find a way to connect and bond.
Watch Richard’s Flickr Moment video to hear more about “Touching Strangers” and see some of the photos from the series after the jump.