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Posts by: Elyssa Goodman

Curious Portraits of Performance Artists From Around the World

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Christine Haase [Germany]

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Ane Lan [Norway]

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Julie Djikey Kim [DR Congo]

A woman stares into Patrick Morarescu’s lens outfitted in a red dress, her head and upper torso jammed into a pair of tan pantyhose. Maybe this would be considered a non-traditional way to sit for a portrait, but not if you’re a performance artist.

‘Rainbow Girls’ Shows South Africa’s Lesbian Community in Bold Contrast

Terra

In Terra’s own words: “My name is Terra, and I was born in Cape Town on 21st april 1989. I got kicked out of the house when I was 16 years old because I’m a lesbian. Up until then, I lived a secret lesbian life and living a lie is very difficult; you have to come out and be yourself. I started living with my grandparents, who were very strict and taught me to be disciplined. Life was hard but you always have to remember – if I’m not gonna make it through this – who is going to make it for me? The name Terra is a butch name, and it gives me respect where I live. I’m not safe living in Gugulethu as a black lesbian. I’m not safe in my community. I’m not safe in South Africa, and I will never be safe. I’m living in fear but with the respect I got, I seem to be able to stay out of trouble. There are people who discriminate and criticize me when I walk down the street with my girlfriend. The community can break people’s heart by being harsh with their presumptions, but we all have to fight hate crime; otherwise, I think we will always be the victim. We have our own freedom and shouldn’t live in fear. I’m making a documentary right now about the hidden, untold, and painful stories in the townships by lesbian women that need to be heard. We need to talk about it ’cause these women are ashamed, ashamed of themselves. They think they must have done something wrong, but they didn’t do anything wrong! The got raped- they didn’t choose to be raped. Being a victim is very painful; living in fear is very painful. Even though they hate us, rape us and kill us- all we have is love! We love each other and they can’t break us ’cause we are gonna fight- new generations like us. We are able to respect and love people here in our community, and our townships need to know this. It’s not the Apartheid from a long time ago; it’s Apartheid amongst ourselves in the black community.”

Miss Lesbian 2012 Inga

Miss Lesbian 2012 Inga

In bursts of vibrant color, Julia Gunther‘s Rainbow Girls portraits chronicle the lives of lesbian women living in the Khayelitsha and Gugulethu Townships of Cape Town, South Africa. Gunther’s choice to work with such high contrast in her images is mirrored in the way the women live their lives–they themselves are in high contrast to traditional South African society, one that has forced many lesbian women to leave their homes because they live outside of what is considered the norm. Many of the women Gunther has photographed are violently threatened on a regular basis and many have been raped because local men consider the female attraction to women a threat in itself.

Photo Exhibition of Inner City Life Across the Decades From New York to Los Angeles to Berlin

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© Joseph Rodriguez
Girl with Ice Cream and Dog, Spanish Harlem, NY 1987
“I made this image of a young girl protecting her puppy dog while enjoying an ice cream pop while on assignment for National Geographic magazine, it was the cover image for the May 1990 ‘Growing Up in East Harlem.’”

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© Miron Zownir
NYC, 1981

This past September, in a former post office next to Berlin’s abc art fair, curator Bene Taschen brought together the work of three documentary photographers–Gregory Bojorquez, Joseph Rodriguez, and Miron Zownir–in a pop-up gallery exhibition called A Story to Tell.

Each of the photographers presented insight into a variety of urban populations, from New York to Los Angeles to Berlin, allowing a closeness to the subject that would otherwise be unachievable.

Fascinating Portraits Explore ‘Romance Tourism’ in Mombasa, Kenya

Romance Tourism

Romance Tourism

Sex tourism as we know it often features women offering a veritable buffet of sexual performances to men–images arise in the mind, perhaps, of the Red Light District in Amsterdam. But what about sex tourism for women? Danish photographer Sofie Amalie Klougart stumbled upon what is known as “Romance Tourism,” while on a work trip in Mombasa, Kenya. This phenomenon involves Kenyan men offering themselves to older western women vacationing on the country’s beaches. Klougart learned from the women themselves that while the relationships begin as sexual, they often develop feelings for the men that are all too rarely reciprocated. For the men, one woman surmises in an interview, it’s not a matter of love but survival, and the women, who have the luxury of not worrying about survival, get caught up in the fantasy.

Talking Heads, Patti Smith, Blondie, the Ramones: Legendary Photos from CBGB in the 70s

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Patti Smith, Bowery 1976

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Dictators, Bowery 1976

Forty years ago, the coffee shop on Bleecker and Bowery where David Godlis and I are sitting was a vacant lot. Across the street from the vacant lot was the legendary rock club CBGB-OMFUG. Opened by Hilly Kristal in 1973, it brought to life not only the now iconic punk sound exemplified by artists like Television, the Ramones, Patti Smith, and Blondie, but the street photography of David Godlis. After going to school in Boston, the born-and-bred New Yorker returned to the city to land a job as a photography assistant. In his off-hours, he found himself looking for a place to hang out. That place ended up being CBGB.

Young Photojournalist Amanda Mustard On Life in Cairo

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Each image in Amanda Mustard‘s collection of photographs in Egypt is a vibrant journey into a single moment. At 21, Mustard packed up her life and moved to Cairo, a far cry from the Christmas tree farm in rural Pennsylvania where she was raised. Mustard has lived in Cairo for 3 years, facing possible danger and harassment daily, not only as a photojournalist but as a female. Drawn to Cairo by the inexpensive living (her rent was just $70 per month), she ended up staying because of the unending subject matter that existed alongside the time she needed to develop her skills as a photojournalist.

Though she is now relocating to Bangkok, Mustard has much to show for the last 3 years: she is one of PhotoBoite’s 30 Under 30 Women Photographers for 2014, she won PDN’s The Shot competition in 2011, and her work has appeared in the likes of The Wall Street Journal, TIME, VICE, Newsweek, Monocle, Mother Jones and many others. She wrote to us about life as an American female photojournalist in Egypt and the stories she seeks to tell.

Portraits of Page: A Look at ‘80s and ‘90s Drag Life in NYC (NSFW)

Linda Simpson

Linda Simpson

As soon as you see Page, you know there is something special about her. She has the ethereal elegance of Grace Kelly, married with the glittery, gender-bending, art-punk edge of downtown New York in the ‘80s and ‘90s. This was something legendary drag queen Linda Simpson noticed about the transgender performer and documented, along with the rest of the era’s drag scene, with a simple 35 mm point-and-shoot camera. In color, of course. Because if anything was ever colorful, it was drag.

Compelling Nude Portraits Explore Both Self-Identity and Stereotypes (NSFW)

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Triptych 5

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Triptych 5 detail

Bodies. Naked. Words. The image came to Brooklyn-based photographer Lauren Renner during a nap. Her project In Others’ Words features Renner’s three-paneled images of nude individuals shot with a 4×5 view camera, their bodies covered in words others have used to describe them. Total strangers write these words on each other’s naked bodies, making In Others’ Words an exercise in understanding vulnerability, knowing oneself, and transcending the labels our culture is so quick to provide. We recently asked her more about the project.

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