This work ships from Warrington , GB.
“I accept him and I protect him,” says Mai (right), the mother of Joseph (left), a transgender
woman. Since Joseph’s arrest in 2012, Mai worries about her constantly. The police accused Joseph of promoting homosexuality. She was tortured, the worst of which was when the police sodomized her with a police baton and left her in severe pain and bleeding for weeks. She was released from prison after two weeks, but she still has nightmares and flashbacks of the torture. Today she is a LGBT/HIV Aids Activist.
Joseph & Mai were 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.
Esteemed photographer Robin Hammond (New Zelander, b. 1975) has dedicated his artist practice to documenting global human rights issues and marginalized groups through long-term photographic projects. His photographs have been featured on the covers of Time Magazine and National Geographic, and he has won numerous awards including the World Press Photo prize, six Picture of the Year International Awards, and the W. Eugene Smith Award for Humanistic Photography. He was also named one of ‘100 Leading Global Thinkers’ by Foreign Policy and addressed the United Nations on LGBTQI+ discrimination in 2018. Hammond further encourages social engagement through his company Witness Change, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending human rights violations through visual storytelling.