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What have you touched today?

Katsumi, a dancer from Japan living in London. He stars in a martial arts show. Image copyright Paula Zuccotti

Can you remember everything you've touched today? Argentine-born designer, Paula Zuccotti, asked 62 people to make a note of all the objects they handled in a 24-hour period, then gather them together for a snapshot of their lives.

"Many of the things we know about past civilisations are from insights gathered through their objects," says Paula Zuccotti.

"Tools, utensils, clothes, manuscripts and art have taught us about the type of work they did, what they hunted, grew and ate, and how they expressed themselves."

So with that in mind, she decided to make a photographic "time capsule" of 2015 and build up portraits of people through their possessions.

Image copyright Paula Zuccotti
Image caption Anna Haneda, age two, and her mostly pink world - many of the objects she touched were grabbed at random, as is common with toddlers

"I was looking for lifestyles that intrigued me, some of which are disappearing. I went to Arizona looking for a cowboy and to Tokyo because I wanted to document the life of a geisha," says Zuccotti.

Twenty-three-year-old David, an American cowboy, and Eitaro, a 32-year-old Japanese man who learnt to perform the role of a geisha from his mother fitted the bill.

Image copyright Paula Zuccotti
Image caption A day in the life of David True, a third-generation cowboy working at a ranch in Tucson, Arizona. "Right now we have 160 horses to groom and saddle," he said.
Image copyright Paula Zuccotti
Image caption The wig is one of Eitaro's most treasured objects because it belonged to his mother

While she was working on the project, Everything We Touch, Zuccotti found that, on average, people handled 140 objects per day - excluding structural fittings such as taps, handles and light switches.

She laid out items chronologically for each photo, and in many cases the objects give away a significant amount of information about the person who touched them - these three pictures represent the lives of a cook, a baby and a butcher.

Image copyright Paula Zuccotti
Image caption Gemma is a cook in Marrakesh and also the mother of a little boy - which explains the scooter
Image copyright Paula Zuccotti
Image caption The world of Arlo Butler, one month old - his mother Tess recorded everything he touched while at home in London, including her bra during a breastfeeding session
Image copyright Paula Zuccotti
Image caption Isaias Rimer is a butcher in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a country with one of the highest rates of red meat consumption in the world

Some people weren't able to collect everything they touched though - Piedad is a cloistered nun in Madrid who only provided Zuccotti with her coif, black veil, holy habit, scapular, Bible and rosary.

The nun, originally from Ecuador, hasn't left the convent for more than 28 years.

"So I visited her," says Zuccotti. "As we conversed through bars, the bag of belongings Piedad wanted me to have appeared through a window. When I enquired where the other objects that she would have touched were, such as her toothbrush, mug and comb, she looked at me and said 'I can't.'"

Image copyright Paula Zuccotti
Image caption Piedad's day is divided into hourly slots of private and communal praying, singing and training
Image copyright Paula Zuccotti
Image caption The possessions of 72-year-old Liu, a shadow puppet maker in Shanghai, who created all his figurines and instruments by hand. "I want the world to understand China better and traditional folk art is rooted in who we are," he said.
Image copyright Paula Zuccotti
Image caption ChaCha Yehaiyahan is a young musician from Ghizhou, China who composes, DJs and sings and likes to "travel light"

"I think this project does not have an ending," says Zuccotti, who would now like to photograph "new places, new topics, specific people" including the worlds of the rich and famous and those who live in the public eye.

She can't help wondering, if she were to re-run the project in 10 years what new objects would appear and what would be extinct.

Image copyright Paula Zuccotti
Image caption Zuccotti during a shoot, arranging the objects that belonged to Kitty, a tattoo artist from Melbourne, over the white canvas that she used for all photos.

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