Queer Artists Munich (2021 - 2022)
More about this exhibition project on www.queer-raum.de
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the lives of LGBTQIA+ people in particular ways. Safer spaces like clubs and bars have closed, events like Pride parades have been canceled – the visibility gained in recent years has been suffering greatly, while transphobia and homophobia are on the rise again. Now it is more important than ever to keep the pulse of queer communities alive. While the Covid restrictions have more or less been lifted and are almost a thing of the past, it is important to revive queer culture, which has been pushed into the background. Queerness, after all, means social connection and the possibility of creating more awareness for a self-determined and discrimination-free life.
For the photo project “Queer Artists Munich” Francesco got an overview of the artist scene in Munich, meeting with various people and speaking with them about topics like their relationship to Munich and with the local LGBTQIA+ community, the extent to which the pandemic has influenced their creative work, and their definition of queerness. The results are portraits of artists in their work spaces, studios or homes. The artists come from different fields including poetry, dance, music, painting, photography and drag, creating an overall picture of the queer art scene. The artists are at different points in their lives and therefore provide an extensive variety of perspectives. It is important to Francesco to portray his photographic models with their personalities and also to show the pride in their queer identities. In addition, it was a key concern for him to cover the spectrum of identities and to consider intersectionality. This means also portraying creatives who are BIPoC and those who do not conform to the heteronormative and binary society.
"The own walls heal wounds" (2022)
As an Ukrainian saying goes, the walls of home bring remedy. But war is raging in Ukraine and while it is also hitting the LGBTQIA+ community severely, it may have enormous consequences for freedom and human rights in the long term. If Ukraine wins the war, it will strengthen the community that is very active today in so many vital areas, in the army or civil defence, but also in social organisations such as children's aid. Their commitment is very much appreciated by Ukrainian society. But if Ukraine should lose the war, the harsh and homophobic laws we know from Russia will apply. The fate of the LGBTQIA+ community would then be an existence in hiding and constantly on the run from repression.
The artistic photo work consists of portraits of four queer Ukrainian refugees who came to Bavaria in the spring of 2022. Among them Alexandra (37) from Zhytomyr, who has been privately dedicated to the LGBTQIA+ community in her home country and coordinated the association "You are not alone". The couple Lilja (32) and Ira (33), who made their way to Germany together with their child after an air raid on their home town of Ternopil. And Maja (55), who is already experiencing the trauma of flight for the second time, after the Georgian-born woman had to leave her home country for the first time in the course of the Caucasus war in 2008 and moved to the port city of Odessa. The four women have two things in common: they all experienced an exhausting and dangerous flight to Germany and they all want to return as soon as possible.
More about this project in the Pride Guide (page 16 - 17), with a text by Bernd Müller.
377. Inside India's Queer Community (2019-2021)
Portraits I took during our trip through India, in December 2019 together with the photographer Gina Bolle, and the journalists Maria Chrstoph and Stefanie Witterauf. The result is our photo book project 377. Inside India's Queer Community.
How do people live in a country that for over a hundred years has legally forbidden them to be themselves, to love who they want, to dress how they want?
We travelled to India to meet people from the LGBTIQ community, to get to know them and to listen to them.
Find out more about the project and about our protagonists on the website.
Cover photo: Gina Bolle | Editorial Design: Studio Substance, Quirin Vodermayer
Mixed Portraits (2020-2021)
This is a selection of various portraits I took in the last two years: Bambi Mercury, Sandra Singh, Felix Reitberger, Philipp Z., Alicia, Kamill Lippa, Fabian S., Chay
Rainbow Refugees (Stories) (2019)
Edward was helping queer teenagers to get away from the streets in Uganda. He build a safe place for persecutees. He started with one room, but soon rented a whole house. It’s those people finding him, who are cast out of their families and society. He offered them a place to sleep, a friendly ear, a meal and security. But the Safe House Project put him himself in danger.⠀
We talked with LGBTI-refugees about their personal stories. This one is the story of Edward.
You can read the full story and many more on the website
Find out more about the project Rainbow Refugees (Stories) here
Editorial Design: Studio Substance, Quirin Vodermayer
Eine Jugend in Deutschland (2020)
Commissioned by the Münchner Kammerspiele to photograph the final rehearsals of the play Eine Jugend in Deutschland, a work for actors and puppets based on the novel by Ernst Toller. Some scenes may differ from the final play. The director is Jan-Christoph Gockel. Viola Hasselberg is the leading dramaturg.
Ralph Kinkel (2021)
Portraits of the german actor Ralph Kinkel in June 2021. Ralph is playing the lead role in the sitcom "the drag and us", which was released this autumn.
Hair and Make-up: Jay Miniano
Pferde und Flammen (2022)
Press photographs and album cover for the german newcomer band "Die Kerzen" in January 2022. Their music revolves around Dream-Pop, Blue Eyed Soul and New Romantic. Hair and Makeup by Jay Miniano.
Queer seniors tell their stories (2020)
On assignment together with Maria Christoph for VICE Germany. We met three queer seniors and talked with them about their coming out, about their life as a queer person while homosexuality was still forbidden by law until 1994.
You can read the whole article here (german)
Rolf Benz (2020)
On commission for Rolf Benz in my hometown Nagold to document the path of a completed sofa for their training materials.
Janisha Jones (2019)
Drag is en vogue and becomes mainstream at the same time. The public is interested and allows more and more artists to show their skills. Furthermore, the related gay community is gaining more visibilty. I am interested in people who contribute to this.
Jan and his friends are living in Munich and work as a drag queens for various clubs and bars. As Janisha Jones Jan also took part in the TV show „Queen of Drags“ in 2019. The German equivalent of Rupaul‘s Drag Race. Thanks to her and her friends Pasta Parisa and Luna Jones there is a drag scene in Munich. With their work they’re supporters of LGBT* while reducing prejudice.
Covid Theatre (2020)
On assignment for Münchner Kammerspiele to document the event Schaufenster to go, when the pandemic made it impossible to go to the theatre
Megna's birthday Party (2019)
Megna and her friends are trans women with Pakistani heritage. Some of them have fled to Europe to have a safer life here. At parties like these, they come together from all different European regions. The focus is on the community, there is a lot of dancing and the women go through various rituals. I had the opportunity to participate on two days.