Queer Photography II: Identity Displaced
This collaborative exhibition of LGBTQIA+ artists for Photo Fringe’s 2022 festival “Real Utopias”. A sequel to SEAS’ 2021 exhibition, Queer Photography: A non-definitive survey, the exhibition explores and deconstructs the many facets of queer identity, highlighting how the ever-evolving, multiplicity of queer identities has the potential to engender a world without prejudice and discrimination – a queer utopia.
Through a multitude of photographic mediums, the participating socially engaged artists, challenge heteronormative ideals, deconstruct the gender binary and critique the Western hegemony of queerness. The selected artwork encompasses a wide array of queer identities, from the depiction of non-binarism in Greek myth to stories of transitioning, to amplifying the voice of BPOC queer activists.
The exhibition includes several FREE workshops where the participants' works will become part of the exhibition. It also include a few artists talks. For more info and to book a place see SEAS's website.
no homo bro
The body of work, “no homo bro”, is an exploration of male intimacy and its relationship to homoeroticism, questioning whether one can be without the other.
As a queer individual, I’ve always been fascinated by “lad” culture. Growing up, I always struggled to obtain and sustain close friendships with straight men and could never fully comprehend why men weren’t allowed to be intimate with one another without them being gay – a term deemed to be negative. Whilst our society is widely more accepting, traditional, “toxic”, masculine ideals can still prohibit men in forming intimate interpersonal bonds with one another. The series documents the lives of four straight male friends of mine over several months; composing them intimately, the work begins to challenge why visual language of male intimacy is predominately read as homoerotic, investigating the boundaries between bromance and homosexuality.
Ben Sharp (he/they) is a portrait photographer, exploring contemporary culture, touching upon social and political issues, whilst adhering to the fashion and editorial sectors.
Edge Of Radiance
Way’s ongoing project, “Edge Of Radiance”, depicts the effect of light flaring out of the edges of bodies. Farah draws inspiration from Afrofuturism, quantum physics and Queer experiences to question how identities radiate beyond the physical body. Farah Way takes you on a journey that starts from the body moving towards the edges of the physical and revealing fragments of our inner worlds.
Farah Way (she/they) is a French visual artist based in Brighton. Her artistic practices call upon her education in Photography and Fine Arts and a rich cultural Background. Contextualising her work within the current era of persistent and globally divided computational photography, Way re-frames the role of the digital in photographic methods. Her current practice merges analogue and digital processes in an experimental approach to photography. The artist’s methods include the manipulation of light in its physical form and the composition of montages through digital post-production.
“When I was growing up there wasn't any queer characters in the shows I watched or the toys I played with, so in some of these pieces I reimagined those nostalgic characters to be more like my community today. For other pieces I have included icons from queer culture and fashion references, jaggedly cut together to show the contradictions and chaos of the imagery we see every day.”
Felicity Blades (she/her) is a digital collage artist based in Birmingham. She studied fashion at UAL and is currently developing her own brand of flares: Haus of Blades. Blades is interested in how people choose to portray themselves to the outside world and how this can be misinterpreted, distorted and reinterpreted repeatedly.
Self portraits and other works
“People walk in the world with an outside shell that might be painfully unrepresentative of their true self. My subjects challenge others to see the essence of what is rather than what appears to be. They have accepted that they are not meant to fit in but to stand out, and provocatively reveal the emotional layers of their traumas to those who look closely. It is an act of courage to disclose one’s hidden self to the world knowing that others might not understand its nuances. It is, however, necessary if we want to start a dialogue towards visibility and (self) acceptance. Part of my artistic practice is to undo what I have painted. My interventions become messy, resembling the brutal patchwork of emotions that makes us human. The act of undoing resembles the act of courage when we deconstruct our certainties and expose our vulnerabilities for others to truly see us.”
Francesca Alaimo (they/them) is an Italian, self-taught interdisciplinary artist based in London. Alaimo creates interventions on paper through manipulation and transformation of materials and images, using prints, water-based oils, acrylics and wax. They explore identity, vulnerability and courage, and of the relationship between fear and desire, prejudice and defiance, acceptance and self-love.
The Calling  / De-Uniforming 
The Calling 
Concept & Photography: Gil Mualem-Doron
Model/Performer: Dimitris Galanakis
The Calling is an underwater dance video and a series of stills relating to the issues of climate change, the revenge of nature told through the Greek myth of the sirens, as well as touching the issues of gender identity through the myth of the Sirens the Mermaids.
The photoshoot took place near Thessaloniki at the site of the Epanomi shipwreck of Epanomi.
The ship sank in the winter of 1970 during the dictatorship. It was carrying out soil in order to transform the area into arable land at the cost of destruction of the unique natural habitat. After it sank the ship was abandoned. Today, almost 50 years later, the proximity to Thessaloniki, the diversity of the beach, the crystal clear blue-green waters and the eerie beauty of the ship, make the shipwreck of Epanomi one of the most popular beaches near the city and the wreck a tourist attraction.
Concept & Photography: Gil Mualem-Doron
Model/Performer: Dimitris Galanakis
The other work, “de-uniforming”, is a series of black and white photography, a moving image work, relating to resistance of the dancer, Galanakis to be drafted to the Greek military and touching upon memories of the photographer Mualem-Doron from his military service. The photoshoot took place near Thessaloniki in an abandoned holiday camp.
The short moving image work includes distorted extracts from the film Full Metal Jacket, by Stanley Kubrick. The film is one of the most anti-war movies.
Gil Mualem-Doron (he/they) is an award-winning artist and photographer and founder of The Socially Engaged Art Salon (SEAS). Mualem-Doron investigates topics such as identity, diasporic spaces, social and racial justice, “placemaking” and transcultural aesthetics. Gaining a PhD in architecture and a PDG in Critical & Curatorial Studies, his work uses an array of disciplines in participatory and collaborative practices. Mualem-Doron’s work is informed from his own complex identity and lived experience of intersectionality.
Why am I me?
Why am I me? is an excerpt from a larger body of work called Journals which combines photographs and fictional texts written by Pierre Monnerville and presented as if taken from the models’ journals.
Journals explores urban gay lifestyle and more specifically the issues of ageing, love, loneliness, relationships and sexuality.
Why am I me? attempts to show that many of us share similar thoughts and experiences. The viewer is presented with the inner thought process of several men looking at themselves in the mirror as they wonder how come they can ponder their perceived isolation and loneliness.
Pierre-Yves Monnerville (he/him) is a designer and photographer exploring how urban living, loneliness, identity, body image and mental health, in general, affect men. Coming across Mapplethorpe’s Black Book at 15 inspired him to become a photographer.
Type here to search”
“Type here to search” series was motivated by the various questions about the photographs in the family photo album. The Microsoft bar search creates a contemporary approach to archival images; as a generation where technology remains firmly in our everyday life, there is much information that has to be excavated. In the past years, I have been digging into the family archive to understand my family paths; through a slow process of conversations with family members, I realised that some information is lost and fragmented. However, I recognise the importance of having this puzzled information which is still rare in black family albums, and their archival documentation and traces is an essential representation in history.
Sofia Yala (she/they) is an Angolan/Portuguese photographer. The artist has an academic background in African Studies and Anthropology and graduated from the University of Derby in 2021 with a MA in Film and Photography. Yala’s artwork explores archival material combined with unexpected encounters in life. Sofia’s art conveys storytelling bringing in different times, textures, and layers. Their work considers (dis)construction of identity as a diasporic or transatlantic body in this immense and complex world. The material process is based on photography, but Sofia enjoys testing and presenting her work with the photographic medium alongside other formats and compositions.
Will Allen (he/him) is a photographer exploring portraiture and landscape and urban spaces. Originally from the Channel Islands, Allen moved to London for his education. His use of natural light and outdoor spaces around the city creates a relaxed and informal atmosphere, enabling the sitter’s authentic character, or aura, to appear.
“The thoughts behind the image were to visualise how even in our current world how there is still a lot of work to be done in relation to how people of the LGBTQ+ community are still viewed by some of the wider population. The words are all hand written by Gianni as these are all things they have been called growing up.”
During a short series of workshops, One Youth LGBTQAI+ members created collages that represent their complex identities using found images and photos of themselves and of various personal objects. The workshops were delivered by SEAS' team.
14a Jubilee St
behind the Jubilee Library
8 October–3 December