Photography blog


Project ESTRANGED

''I have nothing against gays, as long as I don't see it''. A comment Arjan Spannenburg, soldier and artist, was told by a colleague when he showed his photography to him. A comment that actually insinuates that he had better get back in the closet. It was precisely these kinds of "innocent" comments and hidden discrimination that were the starting point of the project: ESTRANGED. Even today, the rainbow community does not feel safe everywhere in the Netherlands. Many LGBT+ youth experience daily fear of rejection, confrontation, discrimination and increasingly aggression. As a result, youth partially hide their identity and become further estranged from themselves every day.

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PAN Amsterdam 2022

We will be there again this year! So once again this year you can enjoy my work during PAN Amsterdam, in the stand of Zerp Galerie from Rotterdam. Hopefully I'll meet you there to tell you about my work in person as well!

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COUNTERBODIES 2022

Counterbodies focuses on bringing together the work of artists who each offer a distinct interpretation of 'the body', as a thematic and visual source for research and experiment. The theme of 'the body' has always been prominent in artistic practices.

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Presentation ESTRANGED

With two special presentations, Coming Out Day (11 October '22) was a fantastic day.I had been working on the project ESTRANGED for a long time and finally it could be presented. That ESTRANGED was going to be a special project. Even before the presentation took place yesterday, parts of the project were already on display at exhibitions in Malaysia and Nigeria, among others.

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Exposition in Nigeria

LGBT+ people still face legal and social challenges in Nigeria. In Nigeria, homosexuality is still illegal and even punishable by imprisonment for up to 14 years. The country therefore has no legal protection for LGBT+ people.

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Interview in HIM Magazine

I was honored to be asked for an interview by the German HIM Magazine. This is a magazine about and for gay men, written in German. Since I really liked the interview I asked permission to translate it and publish it on my website as well.

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Included in the Royal Library

We are proud to announce that we have been asked by the Royal Library of the Netherlands whether they may archive our website for future research. This with the aim of preserving a piece of the zeitgeist by adding our site to their specially chosen selection. This makes us part of the documented Dutch literary history, something we are very proud of!

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Why we use the traditional pride flag

In the rainbow community there are often arguments about all kinds of issues. Our community therefore seems to be slowly polarising, just like today's society. As a result, the space to listen to each other and understand each other's point of view is disappearing. An important element being discussed is our flags and the choice people make.

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Prideweek - Is it really needed?

LGBT+ events, they are still necessary to this day. Yet over the years there seems to have been a growing backlash against both the organizations and what they stand for. A change is underway, but where it will lead remains the big question.

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Milkshake 2022 | LGBT+ love and friendship

After 2 years of COVID, I really wanted to photograph at Milkshake again this summer. For me, Milkshake is THE event where I myself got an insight into the diversity of the LGBT+ community. Here I learned how many different forms of friendship and love are possible. But also that sometimes you have to look further, or ask, how friendship or love works for someone.

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Pride Photo Exhibition double smeared

Since Friday 10 June, the Pride Photo exhibition has been in Almere and right at the opening there was a commotion. A photo showing the partially covered genitals of a man (after transition) was displayed frontally at the bus station crossing. It was quickly moved to another spot, so that people were not immediately confronted with this photo when they stepped off the bus.

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Zandvoorts Museum: Portraits with Pride 2022

This year the Zandvoorts Museum presents an exhibition in the theme of the rainbow community. This year the group exhibition in the 2022 edition of Zandvoort Pride will present a sellection of portraits. Arjan Spannenburg exhibits his works LOVED, RAPTURE and PERSISTANCE. They can be seen from July 1 to August 7, 2022 in the Zandvoort Museum at the exhibition Portraits with Pride.

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Pride Month 2022

Around the world, the LGBT community celebrates their activism every year during the month of June. During this special month, various events are organized worldwide to raise awareness for the acceptance of LGBT+ people. The month of June was chosen at the time in response to the Stonewall riots that took place in June 1969 at the time.

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The success of Kosovo - The first retrospective

With the collapse of Afghanistan in 2021, after my last mission, I began to wonder more and more if my work within the Defense Department was of any use. The decision by the United States to withdraw from the mission caused it to end sooner than planned. As a result, the Taliban rapidly threw the territory back at least 20 years. It was soon back to being an extremist, oppressive, religious country and certainly not a place I would ever want to go again.

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