Tag Archives: Photo Project

Life Inside Ecuador Gay Conversion Camps Is Documented In This Shocking Photo Project

Ecuadorian photo artist Paula Paredes came to attention in 2014 when she revealed a photo project based on her own coming out to her family.

She sat her Catholic parents and two sisters down at the family dining table, set cameras to take a photo every five seconds, and then told them that she is a lesbian.

For her latest project, entitled Until You Change, Paredes returns to the theme of sexuality and societal attitudes towards gay people.

This time, she spoke to other gay women who have been held in so-called gay conversion camps.

In Ecuador approximately 200 facilities exist to “cure” homosexual men, women and transsexuals. Unfortunately, the majority of these centers remain open because they are disguised as Treatment facilities for alcoholics and drug addicts. Imprisoned against their will, those interned are subject to emotional and physical torture, through force-feeding, beatings and corrective rape.”

Paredes interviewed people who had been in such clinics and got first-hand accounts of the reality. As the facilities prohibit cameras inside, she decided to illustrate their stories by recreating the things they told her in a similar environment.

To protect the identity of her sources, she used actors and models.

These images allow us to see what was never meant to be seen. The perversion of pills and prayer books; the regime of forced femininity in make-up, short skirts and high heels; torture by rope or rubber gloves; the specter of “corrective” rape.”

Edges Of The Rainbow: A Photographic Book About The Japanese LGBTQ Community

Edges of the Rainbow, is a new photo book by Parisian-born New York photographer Michel Delsol and Tokyo-born journalist Haruku Shinozaki.

It unveils the fascinating, resilient and unforgettable characters within the country’s proud and present LGBTQ community.

Japan has experienced its own set of historical challenges for it’s LGBTQ community. However, despite conservative ideologies – that encourage the community to remain unseen – change is occurring within the country.

In Edges of the Rainbow, we are introduced to a gay Episcopal priest; a lesbian couple who discuss their lives via radio and TV; a trans female pop star; an intersex author; a gay, all-male music group that addresses LGBTQ culture through electronic music; among other inspiring and motivated people all living their lives openly and honestly.

The Limit(less) Photo Project Showcases Queer Africans

Being queer is un-African.

When his parents told him that, Mikael Owunna went into shock. He was fifteen and had finally come out. Decrying American corruption, his parents exiled him back to Nigeria to remember how to be an African – that is, straight.

Going back to Africa didn’t turn Owunna straight. It just introduced him to many, many more queer Africans who felt just as adrift as he did.

Owunna told Buzzfeed,

There was nowhere that I felt like I could be both queer, African and whole.”

That led him to create the Limit(less) photo project, which features portraits of and interviews with LGBT African expats. He wants to prove that being queer is very African, thank you very much.

This project is as much to unite the queer LGBT African community as it is to debunk stereotypes about Africans. Says Owunna,

Almost all of the (very few) images of LGBT Africans out there are so sad and depressing and center exclusively on our pain. I want to provide a space through my art where we can heal and see that we not only exist being both LGBTQ and African – but that we also thrive and love ourselves!”

Despite the large numbers of LGBTQ Africans, it’s not always easy for Owunna to find people to interview and photograph safely. Before agreeing to take someone’s picture, he has an in-depth Skype interview with them to make sure that adequately understand the risks of being vocal about their identity. Even in Western countries, they’re not always safe.

So far, he’s photographed over 30 LGBT African immigrants in the US, Canada, Sweden and Trinidad & Tobago. In the summer of 2017, he will travel to Belgium, France, Portugal and the UK for more participants.

See Owunna’s award-winning photography on his official website and check out the Limit(less) project for yourself.

For more LGBT African art, read Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta.