There are no homosexuals in Iran


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"In Iran, we do not have homosexuals like in your country,” former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed whilst visiting Columbia.

Laurence Rasti (1990, Switzerland) visits Denizil, a small town in Turkey, where some of Iran’s gay refugees have relocated in search of life in a country where it's not necessary to hide their sexuality. Composing her images with busy prints, colours and textures, Rasti turns attention away from the overt displays of sexuality occurring in the scenes -actions that would lead to persecution in the subjects' native land. Through her carefully constructed scenes Rasti intends to questions the fragile nature of identity and gender concepts.

The series creates a platform to confront the reality of the circumstances faced by the citizens of Iran. Obscuring and hiding her subjects in plain sight, she references the experiences of these individuals who allegedly "do not exist" in Iran. Through the photos she allows them to express their true identities, which their homeland has prohibited, whilst allowing them the protection of anonymity.


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