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Posts tagged: documentary photography

What it’s Like to be Gay and Muslim in the 21st century

Amin, Los Angeles
“I find myself in the middle of two fronts – sometimes fighting within the Muslim community for more tolerance of LGBT people, and at other times fighting queer people and non-Muslims against the rampant Islamophobia in this country. I feel like I’m obligated to educate people on both sides. At the same time, I don’t feel the need to be validated by anyone. I don’t feel any great inner turmoil because of the various components of my identity. Like, I don’t necessarily feel excited by the prospect of a mosque for gay people. If there was a big mosque and people went and prayed together, I would still feel uncomfortable – gay or not. But I feel like people should have the right to do that. Is that weird? It sounds like I am in denial, doesn’t it?”

El-Farouk and his husband Troy, Toronto
“Where I am at today is not necessarily where I started. And I could tell you where I am now and it would sound rather a happy place. But the journey to that place has not been an easy one. I started with the notion that it was sinful [to be gay] and that those who practiced it were problematic at best. But that didn’t quite sort of seem right in the larger construct of the Quran and the Prophet that I believed to be true and actually had been taught. I don’t believe that homosexuality is a sin because sexuality in Islam is not a sin. Sexuality is something that God has given. And in verse 49.13. Allah says, ‘I created you to different nations and tribes and you may know and learn from each other.’ I just see queer folk as one of those nations or tribes.”

For her project ‘Being Queer, Feeling Muslim’, photographer Lia Darjes met with a number of individuals across Europe and North America who identify with being both Muslim and gay. Here, she shares their stories as they go about building their own progressive and inclusive communities in a society largely intolerant of homosexuality. In these defiant, pastel-hued portraits, Darjes captures them in a positive light treating them not as victims, but as courageous individuals striving for positive change.

A Tale of Kindness and Courage in a Ugandan Animal Shelter

Alex Ochieng is the shelter’s manager. Here, he is pictured with Hope, who was maimed eight years ago when she was hit by a car. She can now only walk with her front two legs. Unfortunately, due to lack of resources and medicine, it is getting harder to care for her, and the shelter is actively looking for someone to adopt her.

A kitten, abandoned by its mother, is rescued by Alex and taken to the shelter. Alex runs all the rescue missions.

Abandonment is one of the main reasons there are so many dogs in the USPCA.

When Kampala photojournalist Sumy Sadurni first chose to document life inside Uganda’s one and only animal shelter, she thought she’d be telling a story about dogs and cats. And she did, of course, but as it turned out, her story would also be about human kindness.

One Son’s Photos of the Life and Death of His Mother

Mom, 1979

Mom, 1990

Photographer James Friedman’s mother was, like most mothers, a mystery to her son. She was brilliant, and she was complicated. She encouraged his passion for taking pictures and became one of his first subjects when he was only nine years old. But she had had a difficult relationship with her own mother, and she wasn’t effusive or overly affectionate. Friedman doesn’t recall a time she kissed him as a child.

The Carney Kid Who Grew Up to Be a Photographer

“Life on the carnival growing up looked different every single day,” photographer Ciara J. Alberts remembers of the first decade of her life, spent on on the road with Reithoffer Shows, “I mostly bounced around and wreaked childhood terror with other carney kids on the midway. We would bounce from ride, to cotton candy stand, to ride again.”

Mothers Reveal The Truth About Breastfeeding, in Photos

Photographer Leah DeVun has vivid memories of childbirth. She suffered a transient ischemic attack, also known as a mini-stroke, and she had to have an emergency delivery. She was unable to speak. She was later hooked up to intravenous medications and given two blood transfusions. In the end, she had a son, and both mother and child were alright.

Poignant, Playful Photos of the Stray Dogs of India

A hungry dog.

A stray puppy at Varanasi Ghat.

A kid plays with a street dog.

Mumbai photographer Neenad Joseph Arul used to be shy about approaching people, so instead, he turned to the dogs in his neighborhood. Unlike people, the stray animals were never judgmental, and they didn’t mind being photographed. Over time, what started for Arul as a simple lesson in street photography evolved into a longterm relationship with the city’s canine inhabitants.

A Photographer Explores Love, Loss, Life and Death

akkedis, prince albert, karoo, south africa

fallen giraffe, somerset east, eastern cape, south africa – from the series ‘the fallen’

I once saw a box. Simply a Tupperware container actually, only slightly grander than that. It was indistinguishable from many other boxes of the same nature other than the fact it had a strip of white surgical tape on its lid. Written in ‘sharpie’ were the words ‘handle like eggs’. ‘What’s in there?’ I asked, ‘it’s a heart…and ice of course to keep it alive’.” – David Chancellor

Based between South Africa and the UK, David Chancellor has travelled extensively throughout his career as a documentary photographer. With a deep commitment to wildlife conservation, he has documented a wide range of pressing issues from the elephant poaching crisis in Africa to a mountain lion hunt in Utah to deer stalking in Scotland.

A Journey to the World’s Southernmost Inhabited Place

“It’s a sort of last frontier, a legend-filled land that people want to visit as a place where discoveries can be made,” says Ghent-based photographer Britt Vangenechten of the world’s southernmost inhabited place. Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago of islands located at the southern tip of South America and jointly owned by Chile and Argentina.

With only a few towns scattered across the land, most tourists flock to the major city Ushuaia, but Vangenechten wanted to strike out on a path of her own. Travelling only with a camera and a little money in her pocket, she discovered desolate roads, mysterious forests and lonely settlements, creating this beautiful and evocative photo series entitled El fin del mundo, the end of the earth.

A Fascinating Journey Into the Strange World of Spiritualism

Table-Tipping Workshop at Rev. Jane’s House, Erie, Pennsylvania, 2014

Lily Dale Auditorium, Lily Dale, New York, 2001

Shannon Taggart’s ventures into the world of Spiritualism began as a teenager. Since then, she’s been photographing the Spiritualist community of Lily Dale, New York for sixteen years. Her new book Séance: Spiritualism Ritual and the Search for Ectoplasm brings together ethnographic study, journalism and art, offering an in-depth insight into the essence of Spiritualism – showing us the uncanny encounters, sacred spots which have set the stage for Spiritualist gatherings for generations, and the elusive ectoplasm – a substance said to be both spiritual and material. The photographs put us in touch with another world, one that doesn’t seem so far off.

Photos Imagine Trump As An Immigrant

Photographer Veronica Gabriela Cardenas wanted somehow to tell the stories of our country’s undocumented immigrants. She wanted to humanize their experience and their anxieties in the shadows of the Donald Trump Presidency. She also didn’t want to put them in any precarious situations by revealing their identities.

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