This series of portraits is focused on the life of gay people in Russia. It is a visual tale of melancholy, loneliness and uncertainty about the future.
In Russia the level of intolerance toward homosexuality has been rising sharply. A 2013 survey found that 74% of Russians said homosexuality should not be accepted by society. 16% of Russians surveyed said that gay people should be isolated from society, 22% said they should be forced to undergo treatment, and 5% said homosexuals should be “liquidated”. In June 2013 the national parliament unanimously adopted a nationwide law banning “propaganda” – the promotion of homosexuality to minors. Under the statute it is effectively illegal to hold any gay pride events, speak in defence of gay rights, or say that gay relationships are equal to heterosexual relationships.
This reality has driven the gay community underground, to the shadows. In Russia only 1% of the gay population dares to live openly. That is why the general mood in my work is dark and melancholic. The visual concept mirrors the idea that being gay in Russia is not a rainbow colored life. In our country rainbows have some very sombre shades.
I chose to take poetic, intimate portraits depicting an internal beauty of the characters. So let us take just a few minutes to recognize each other’s beauty instead of attacking each other for our differences.