Updated: Sep 13
Extract from 'I am your mirror' photography project di Loredana Denicola
Then, I met my eighth stranger.
Her name is Giorgia and I called her the Poetess.
With the Poetess, everything took a different direction.
It was I who approached her – she didn't know anything about my project.
She hadn't seen any advert on the internet and she didn't send me any email.
I chose her moved by intuition and positive energy, following my instinct.
Everything was different; I felt a bit stuck, maybe because she was a woman.
In fact, she was the first woman who agreed to take part in my project.
‘I Am Your Mirror’ project includes ten men and three women and one of them is myself, making it twelve strangers plus me.
I remember the day when I met her vividly.
I was working at Bank station taking my break outside the Royal Exchange, during lunch time, when I saw her coming out from the Royal Exchange.
She was alone and stopped by the steps.
Her beauty captivated me. She resembled the women in old pictures from Federico Fellini's ‘La dolce vita’ much like a young Sofia Loren. She wore a tiny light blue dress and white tennis shoes, with long, light brown hair and big dark eyes.
I looked at her in awe, fascinated by her graceful movements. She had the kind of grace that is a pleasure to behold, leaving you feeling transported and fascinated. She lit a cigarette and smoked it.
I didn’t know what to do, but after a few seconds of hesitation, I decided to approach her. I walked closer and said, ‘Hello, do you have a spare cigarette for me, please?’
She replied with a smile – ‘Yes, of course!'
She reached into her little red bag, took out a pack of Malboro Light, and handed one to me.
‘Thank you’ – I said – ‘you are very kind.’
I lit it and smoked, all the while looking into her eyes.
To break the ice, I started asking questions, as I often do when I am interested in getting to know people who are friendly.
We began to talk, an she was d she mentioned that she was looking for a job. She had been living in London for a couple of months and had been at the Royal Exchange to submit her CV at the bar. She mentioned that her friend worked there and might be able to help her find a job. She had previously worked as a waitress in Italy, near Venice, during the summer holidays in agritourism.
While she was talking, I realised she had an Italian accent.
I asked – ‘Are you Italian?’
‘Yes’ – she replied – ‘are you Italian as well?’
I confirmed 'Yes, I am Italian.'
We both laughed. At that moment, I understood why I was attracted to her; there was an Italian vibe, passionate nature, and beauty that drew me to her.
She told me she hailed from Venice.
‘And you? Where are you from?’ – she asked.
‘I come from the South, the opposite side of Italy, from Puglia’ – I answered.
‘Puglia is a beautiful place’ – she remarked – ‘I have friends there and sometimes I go to visit them during the summer, for a few days.’
She then inquired about why I was in London, to which I replied, ‘Because I am on a existential mission. I will return to Italy as soon as I am finished.’
I could't help but laugh at my answer; it was quite unconventional.
She was very young, only 21 years old, and her youth radiates from her skin, smile, and eyes. could feel it, looking at her skin, her smile and her eyes.
On top of that, she was beautiful.
She reminded me of what ‘innocence’ meant. She had an interesting aura, and I wanted to get to know her better. She had eyes of innocence, the face of an angel, the personality of a dreamer and a smile that concealed pain.
She shared that she was living in South London in a flat with other people. Her dream was to become an actress, work in a theatre, and partecipate in acting workshops. She had clear aspirations for her life, and appeared more mature than her age. I found myself drawn to her.
Then, I introduced myself and explained that I was a photographernworking on a project called ‘I Am Your Mirror’.
We said goodbye, and in the evening, she texted me with her phone number.
.... to be continued...
by Loredana Denicola
"Behind the Lens: A Photographic Journey with Strangers"
Short stories from the photography project: "I am your mirror" by Loredana Denicola © 2017/2018, All rights reserved.
I'd love to create a book! If interested email me to loredana denicola
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