30 Stunning Photos of Same-Sex Love, Intimacy and Heartbreak
If India were to take its film industry, famously the biggest in the world, as an indicator of certain cherished cultural values, love will surely be right at the top. Seriously, look up just how many movie titles and song lyrics contain the word ‘dil.’ The reality, we are only too aware, is different. Self-appointed custodians of ‘national values’ decide just which kind of love will be sanctioned and celebrated. The 2013 re-criminalisation of same-sex love by the Supreme Court showed us all too clearly that India is still firmly anti-progress where questions of LGBTQ rights are concerned.
LA-based photographer Arjun Kamath’s Coming Out series, then, comes as a welcome gift for all those campaigning for greater LGBTQ representation. In this series of 30 photos depicting two women lovers torn apart by brutal, regressive forces, Kamath delineates the everydayness of queer relationships.
Talking to The Quint about this project, Arjun Kamath said:
I am not a social activist. I am an artist and my primary aim was to create beautiful images around an important issue that had some resonance for the world. I wanted the photos to have a soul. I have some gay friends who feel suffocated at having to hide and I wanted to address that; this is why I literalised the metaphorical closet.
Kamath also spoke of his tryst with photography and its merits over other artistic mediums:
I feel that photos are more inclusive and accessible. Viewing them requires almost no effort but their emotional impact is huge. When everyone is too busy to watch even an 8 minute video, photos reach one and all.
When asked about the reception of his work, Kamath said:
I am both proud and surprised that I haven’t received any hate mail! I have received warm and encouraging responses from different parts of the world. People told me that for a few brief moments, they felt that somebody had understood them.