By Jane Fochler 

Photo by Melissa Kreider


Thursday, November 16th from 6-9 at CORRIDOIO FIORENTINO, the student gallery of the Department of Photography of Florence University of the Arts (FUA), the REMNANTS exhibition opened featuring portrait photographs taken by Melissa Kreider.


Remnants is an exploration of the successes or failures of the reactionary structures that are responsible for engaging victims of sexual and domestic abuse. The photographs range from sites of sexual and domestic assault, the sexual assault evidence collection kits survivors have to endure, to the backlog of rape kits in police evidence rooms, the crime labs in which this kits are tested, and finally the survivors themselves. All of these aspects create a complicated and intimidating maze of steps a survivor may maneuver if they choose to rely on the justice system for assistance. This work does not serve to trigger or create a negative response, but exists as photographic evidence of the reality many face when assaulted. Melissa Kreider has considered the idea of her Remnants project since her undergraduate work as she feels a very personal connection to the subject matter after her own experience with sexual assault.


Kreider explains “in her collection the photograph that stands out to me the most is the photo of the woman holding a polaroid picture of her bruises and marks from being abused because it is very graphic and the colors are all working together to make this beautiful photo out of something terrible which is what I do a lot.” She also explains that usually at her events she starts the conversation with her photos, but recent discussions worldwide and in Florence revolving around sexual assault immediately generated the conversation on the show theme.


Kreider is pleased with the reactions to her Remnants project thus far, she feels it has opened the door to many good conversations. She hopes people will begin to understand what victims of domestic or sexual abuse have been through and that through her work others may see that survivors remained in situations of domestic abuse for financial reasons or because they have children, or the believe the abuser will change.