This work ships from Warrington , GB.
Grisha Zaritovsky used to work as an after school theatre teacher. In 2011 he was arrested
attending a protest against the anti-LGBT laws passed in Russia. Three weeks later his boss asked him to come into the office to discuss the arrest. There he was asked to leave the school. Grisha agreed because some of his colleagues were gay and he thought if he fought the decision they could be outed and lose their jobs as well. "Despite the blatant homophobia and discrimination on the part of the Russian government, us, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender, have no need to hide, have no need to be afraid, but on the contrary - we need to face the future, if so, it can't be anything other than bright and cheery. Everything is in our hands.”
Grisha was photographed by Robin Hammond for Where Love is Illegal, a global campaign sharing the stories of LGBTQI+ people who face discrimination because of who they love or how they identify. Every participant in the project is given the opportunity to collaborate in the making of their photograph so they can present themselves how they want to be seen.
Where Love is Illegal is a Witness Change project. Witness Change believes that societies are shaped by the stories they tell. Marginalized people are often excluded from their own stories or are stigmatized in them. This means that their needs are at risk of not being understood, their rights may be abused, and in many cases, their lives are put at risk. Their invisibility means that those who may have the ability to offer support cannot empathize with them or advocate for changes which would improve their conditions. Witness Change exists to improve life for marginalized groups by amplifying their stories. Their vision is to create inclusive societies with equal rights for all.
The winner of two World Press Photo prizes, the RF Kennedy Journalism Award, six Pictures of the
Year International Awards, the W. Eugene Smith Award for Humanistic Photography, the recipient
of six Amnesty International awards for Human Rights journalism, and named by Foreign Policy as
one of the “100 Leading Global Thinkers,” Robin Hammond has dedicated his career to amplifying
narratives of marginalized groups through long term photographic projects.
His work on discrimination against the LGBTQI+ community around the world, ‘Where Love Is Illegal,’ has become a popular social media campaign. It has been exhibited around the world, featured in many publications including the cover of Time Magazine and National Geographic.
Hammond's work led to him addressing the United Nations in 2018 to promote a campaign to end the extrajudicial execution and torture of LGBTQI+ individuals. Robin is the founder of Witness Change, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing human rights through visual storytelling. Born in New Zealand in 1975, Robin has lived in Japan, South Africa, France, and the United Kingdom.