Jan. 29, 2018: Robb and Alesia Stubblefield hold their daughter, Katie, at their apartment in the Ronald McDonald House in Cleveland, Ohio, months after Katie received a face transplant at the Cleveland Clinic in late 2017. Her parents have been warriors throughout the ordeal of Katie having lost her face during a gun accident a few years ago. They quit their jobs to take full-time care of their daughter through multiple surgeries including a full face transplant and the continuing surgeries to refine the donor face. The face was donated by Sandra Bennington when her granddaughter, Adrea Schneider, fell into a coma from a drug overdose. Robb and Alesia have been steadfast warriors and champions for their daughter despite huge sacrifices and helping Katie through hundreds of painful nights.

There have been horrific losses during these corona virus days – loss of lives, loss of jobs, loss of control over the future, loss of control over tomorrow.

But there is another, almost unspoken loss that’s also taking its toll on each of us, all around the world. It’s the loss of touch, that almost unthinking moment when you reach out in greeting with a handshake or a kiss; put an encouraging hand on a  friend’s shoulder; open your arms to embrace another in love or in tears. All the many ways we claimed our humanity, countless times a day, before the pandemic.

The Memory of Touch comes from the archives of the photographers of VII. Each photographer has selected a photo that is about touch as remembered in our pre-corona days —  love, grief, war, play, work, wonder, friendship, joy.

Share on: