Photography | Ramsey Khalifeh
Models | Abdullaah Robins, Jayda Bonnick, Sofia Colombo-Abdullah, Julia Hertzberg 

What started as a shoot to depict the aftermath of the deadly warehouse explosion in Beirut, soon morphed into another when the models – Abdullaah, Sofia, Jayda, and Julia – brought a different energy on set. Still working with the idea of a distressed scene, it became the intimate moments and touches that caught our eye and inspired this series we now call Touch. It was our first shoot for Charcoal after months of us being away from campus, so the opportunity to come together to create filled the room with excitement.

The past year has required so much physical distance that for many, a moment to be in the company of others initiated a wave of joy. In each shot, there’s a moment of touch – either the model making sense of themselves or of their surroundings, extending their elbow, arm or fingers to connect with another person or a different object.

Of our senses, touch can be the most difficult to recall as it exists the loudest in the present. When our feet are firmly planted on the ground or the sun rays hit our back or we hold the hand of another, it’s touch that signals that we are there.


A touch can be a welcomed hello or a dismissive goodbye, but regardless, a touch is hinge, reminding us that we are a series of puzzle pieces waiting to be put together.