This work ships from Warrington , GB.
“[My mother] walked away and left me on my knees begging for her at least listen to what I have
to say... I left school while being mocked, laughed at, on that day hated myself to the extreme I felt I wasn’t worthy living, where was I to start from? How when the only person I trusted in the world turned her back on me? And this was the beginning of my suffering.” Imran (right, photographed with his Miiro, left) is a young gay man from Uganda. In college, he was mocked, bullied and harassed for his sexuality, forcing the university administration to involve his mother. “She told me I was a disgrace and I wasn’t worthy being her son, she went ahead to disowning me there and then in front of the entire school and its staff and [said] that I would rather be dead than having me alive as gay.”
Miro & Imran 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.