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Love, sex, and relationships at Photo Scratch

Updated: Sep 18, 2023

Photo Scratch is an initiative hosted by Four Corners, and I am a part of the LCN (London Creative Networking) program.

I applied to showcase my unfinished project titled "love, sex, and relationships" at Photo Scratch. My motivation behind this was to seek feedback and engage in conversations to gain a better understanding of how others perceive my work, which I felt lacked clarity and was somewhat confusing due to its unfinished state.

The "love, sex, and relationships" project comprises various sections, including video, photography, and a book. I believed that presenting it at Photo Scratch would provide an excellent opportunity to gather feedback and receive clearer advice on how to better organise my ideas.

I initiated this project in 2015 while I was in an abusive relationship that lasted for nine months. During this period, I was consciously aware of the harm I was causing to myself by being in such an unhealthy relationship, which was marked by violence. To cope with my depression and anxiety, I turned to art as an escape. I began interviewing couples and individuals, many of whom were strangers or friends of friends, about their experiences with "love, sex, and relationships."

Mobile Upload - 'Love, Sex & Relationships' @ Four corners during Photo Scratch event, 2017
Mobile Upload | love, sex and relationships | Four Corners | Photo Scratch event 2017 | Loredana Denicola

In total, I interviewed 27 people, asking them the same questions that tormented me during that period of my life.

These interviews resulted in 40 hours of recorded material, which I later condensed into 6 hours of video editing, 17 photos, a presentation trailer video, a book, and a short video explaining the insights I gained through these conversations about love, sex, and relationships.

Here's what I learned from my experience at Photo Scratch:

First and foremost, I was delighted by the sense of intimacy that people felt while watching the excerpts from my videos and viewing the selected photos. I observed their genuine interest and emotional connection to the stories presented in my project, which filled me with pride.

After watching the interviews, attendees engaged with me, offering both positive and negative feedback as well as valuable advice. They made me believe that my project had the potential to be presented in a gallery and as a photo book. Some attendees even shared creative ideas on how to organise the project in a gallery setting.

The feedback highlighted the need for cleaner editing, a tighter narrative, and a more concise video length, as six hours would be too long for most viewers. I also felt a sense of responsibility to honour the time and personal stories shared by the interviewees, so I aimed to create a 20-minute segment for each of them.

Some of the feedback I received included comments such as:

"Excellent, just need more editing work..."

"The video is really beautiful. You start listening not knowing what you are getting into, and it becomes really intimate. You start to develop almost a personal connection with the people being interviewed, especially with the stories you can relate to..."

"Very personal and intimate. How did you manage to connect in that way?"

"Powerful. It's incredible how people open up to you... very real. I felt incredibly connected..."

"Intimacy is very powerful. You breathe it... It is a multimedia project, so probably it needs installation/exhibition/gallery. A limited edition of a book would work well."

"Portraits are amazing... maybe bigger pictures would have worked better..." and more.

Overall, the experience at Photo Scratch boosted my confidence in pursuing this project. I've been working on it for two years, and I now firmly believe in its potential for success.

While there are numerous obstacles to overcome, such as editing, English correction, book layout, publishing, and financial challenges, I view them as opportunities for personal and professional growth.

In conclusion, I would like to express my gratitude to Photo Scratch for the invaluable opportunity it provided. It was a pleasure to be a part of this event and gain insights into my project's future potential.


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