Gay and hiding in plain sight, Ivan’s Moscow photoshoot

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated here and I hope to remedy that in the near future, but I think it’s going to be a choppy ride. I’ll be posting single images and photoshoots from What Dyke Looks Like Russia and the Russian LGBTQ Photo Project as I edit and I never edit chronologically.

Same goes for the video interviews (many of which need to have English subtitles added) I’ll edit and post either full interviews or interesting snippets as I go.

The following images are of Ivan (not his real name) who wanted his portraits to illustrate how he has to hide his sexuality in exchange for his physical safety. This made a lot of sense to me as I’d already started a series of photographs called “Emote” inspired largely by the thoughts and feelings people had expressed in the video interviews about life in Russia for LGBTQ folks. He also gave me the challenge of wanting to have his portrait take but remain fairly anonymous which wasn’t new to me within the scope of working in Russia during the 2014 Olympics.

What did surprise me however was Ivan’s body language during the shoot. In between setups he would joke around, dancing in his underwear and quoting Madonna songs. When it was time to shoot he would contort his face in a silent scream or twist and tighten his body in ways that didn’t simply say “I’m hiding.”

Ivan was angry.


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