During the spring of 2018 I started documenting the ballroom voguing scene in Amsterdam, Berlin, Milan and Paris. ‘Families’ or ‘chapters’ organize vibrant meetings that offer emancipatory possibilities of expression that relate to gender and/or race issues in a trustworthy environment where fashion and attitude mix with mutual understanding. Being honest and sincere I managed to gain access to this world of wonderful and sensitive people, avoiding fears of exploitation by the sensational approach of mainstream media. The black and white photography refers to the urban underground atmosphere of the previous century.
My current project ‘Opulence’ (WIP) is an ode to my late brother and all people from Afro-Caribbean descent, that still are not free to live and express
their sexuality to their fullest. To this day homosexuality is strongly stigmatized and condemned within the Caribbean community. Also, black people from the former colonies and the Caribbean islands in the Netherlands are increasingly racialised and objectified. This project seeks to break out of this dichotomy by portraying these subjects in unadorned, raw yet graceful portraits.
The project records my attempt to build a living archive of feelings, gender expressions and LGBTQ identities of the Black Caribbean diaspora in the Netherlands as a testimony of the vitality and longevity of the Black LGBTQ community in The Netherlands and the Caribbean.