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Posts tagged: portrait 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.

Magic moments found in the everyday in Russia

“As a child I already felt a strong affinity with Soviet culture, because of the history and place I lived in” writes photographer Frank Herfort, who was born in Leipzig, East Germany, in what was then the German Democratic Republic (GDR). “As a young kid with 8 or 9 years or so, I already dreamt of Moscow”, he continues, “don’t ask me why, there was something magnetic about the city’s atmosphere”. Some dreams come true—Frank now resides between Moscow and Berlin.

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.

When She Was Battling Cancer, This Photographer Turned to Her Dog

When photographer Jenny Cardoni was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma, she felt isolated. She found few people who had undergone treatment, and since the cancer mostly affects men, she had no women to talk to about the experience. Over the course of nearly a year of chemotherapy, surgeries, and spinal taps, her immune system was weakened, meaning that she couldn’t do much with other people.

But she always had her dog Finley.

These Photos Tell the Truth About Refugees in America

“My wife is still back in my home country. If I can’t get her here, then I will go back to die in each other’s arms.” – Ajmal, Afghanistan

Ajmal is a 36-year-old refugee from Afghanistan. He came to the United States in hopes of realizing his American Dream, and he’s lived here for about a year and a half. Photographer Brandon Hill met Ajmal at World Relief Seattle, an organization offering classes to refugees on practical skills ranging from the nuances of the English language to US employment opportunities and US currency. In addition to his professional goals, Ajmal told Hill, “I have a dream to see a peaceful and developed world.”

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.

The Photographer Who Devoted 15 Years to LGBTQ Role Models

Mother Flawless Sabrina, Female Impersonator. New York, NY.

George Takei, Actor from Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, Star Wars, Heroes. Los Angeles, CA.

Tom Atwood defines the heroes of Kings and Queens of Their Castles as people who “sing” to him, and he spent fifteen years tracking them across the United States. The book is the result of literally thousands upon thousands of hours of work spent researching, contacting, visiting, and photographing hundreds of LGBTQ people at home. Many of them are celebrities- performers, activists, writers, artists- and many of them are not- farmers, sheriffs, doctors, scientists, bartenders. All of them live in castles of their own making.

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.

One Grandson’s Poetic Photos of His Widowed Grandfather

Harald Pettersson fell in love with Hjordis the first time he saw her. They lived on nearby farms in a Swedish village. They were twenty and fifteen years old, respectively, and it was the 1940s.

Some seventy years later, Harald and Hjordis were still very much in love when Hjordis passed away suddenly. Their grandson, photographer Erik Simander, returned to his parents’ house to help take care of the widowed Harald.

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