Long Term Documentary Project by Tadej Žnidarčič
Being part of the gay community in Uganda – and, to be fair, anywhere else – is not easy. Deceased gay activist and teacher David Kato stated in an interview in 2011 that there were two ways to survive being gay in Uganda: to either hide and seek darkness, or proudly step forward, out of the darkness. Photographer Tadej Žnidarčič has efficiently used this very contrast in his project We are here, we are gay and we are Ugandans. He stared the project in 2010 and as it seems he will not finish it shortly. In 2010 he started to photograph individuals from the Ugandan LGBT community, extremely carefully and with utmost respect. Due to safety considerations of the protagonists this was the only possible way to approach the subject back then. The portrayed subjects were facing the wall, photographed with their backs turned to the photographer. Three years later, the portrayed people are beginning to show their faces. But not all of them. Some of them are still too afraid to reveal themselves and are photographed in the same manner as in 2010, facing the wall. Tadej uses the same focal distance, as if he wanted to trick the viewer into believing that the person has just turned away. Tadej’s whish is that We are here, we are gay and we are Ugandans would be read as a document recorded at a particular time and place, explicitly showing the changes while still being a historical document carrying a communicative obligation for all the times.
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