February marks LGBTQ+ History Month here in the UK, a charity that’s overall aim is to promote equality and diversity for the benefit of the public.
To celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, we are spotlighting creative, queer individuals. We spoke to London-based queer image maker, Asafe Ghalib about their empowering work.
My full name is Asafe Ghalib and my preferred pronouns are they/them. I’m a queer image maker born in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Growing up I found that society didn’t see me as an individual but instead wanted to define me as a preconceived idea of who I was supposed to be. As a result, this created a distance between myself and my origins. I started to look introspectively to confront this social construct around gender identity and racial hierarchy.
I began to feel a sense of community when exploring the different ways in which I could express my gender without the notion of someone dictating what’s right and what’s wrong. Without being taught to be scared of what could actually set us free. I don’t care about society’s expectations or gender norms. I just want to be me.
My main inspiration draws directly from the queer community and those figures who came before us and paved the way for the queer movement today. It’s at the heart of what I do and what I want to show the world, bringing to light historically misrepresented communities. People such as Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera and Lavrne Cox are some notable mentions due to their incredible activism and outspoken voices for the LGBTOIA+ community.
I was one of the winners and the Story cover for British Journal of Photography “Ones to Watch” and recently, the Creative Review editorial team selected me as one of the photographers that have made an impact over the past 12 months as their Zeitgeist winners. This year my project called Queer Immigrants has been selected by the jury of the PROFIFOTO NEW TALENT AWARD 23/1 as first prize winner in Germany.
Music is one of the biggest sources of inspiration and relaxation to me. I love finding and discovering new music to be on the playlists for my future projects. I love to put on some music and dance and feel the words that the artist is trying to convey at the time. I also have a dog named Otis who has been my companion for about two years now and being able to take him around and explore the country is also a big hobby of mine, going camping and being in touch with the great outdoors. I also love exploring new work in galleries and seeing what the scene has to offer, be it my friends’ exhibitions and supporting their art or discovering new work which also inspires me further.
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