''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.
The photography of Arjan Spannenburg (Texel, 1978) is centered around the search for identity and self-expression. In powerful compositions, mostly in black-and-white, Spannenburg portrays boys on the threshold of adulthood.
We see adolescents at an uncertain time in their lives, searching for their own individuality. This results in fragile, loving portraits of boys lost in their own thoughts. At the same time, the boys portrayed seem to have a strong need to communicate with the outside world, in search of support, understanding, and love.
We weten echt wel dat elk mens anders is, maar we staan niet vaak stil bij hoe anderen de wereld ervaren. Men voelt zich vaak vrij om zich te uiten en helemaal zichzelf te zijn en toch is er ook een groep die daar moeite mee heeft. Onze kinderen en jongeren hebben nog altijd veel last van de negatieve houding over wie ze zijn, de zoektocht naar zichzelf en de gevolgen die daarbij komen kijken.
De Nederlandse bank
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!
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.
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.
See the images that are part of the exhibition in Nigeria. The next slideshow gives you a short impression of the opening of this amazing exposition!
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.