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Project Inspiration

Shizuka Yokomizo – From the series ‘Stranger’, 1998.

My motivation for Stranger came from running around London in a car with a ridiculously huge telephoto lens, trying to glimpse unsuspecting people through the windows of their flats. I felt absurd and increasingly frustrated by the one-sidedness of the activity. Aside from the ethics of what I was doing, it was important for me that the subject, a stranger, made eye contact with me while I was photographing. I realised that I needed these people to look back and recognise me equally as a stranger. So I decided to use the format of a simple anonymous letter, which contained the possibility of agreement and time to contemplate taking part (as compared with the speed of a more opportunistic photography), but also maintained the distance (perhaps suspicion) that is part of being strangers.

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