LGBT in Russia (Worktitel) - PhMuseum

LGBT in Russia (Worktitel)

Ksenia Kuleshova

2018 - Ongoing

The ban on „propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations“ was signed into the Russian federal law by Vladimir Putin in June 2013. This law, also known as the „anti-gay law“, is just one more example of a tendency to regression toward a more intolerant society and the attempt of the Russian government to redirect attention away from other problems.

For such a long time this topic has been a taboo. It’s no longer illegal to be gay (the restriction was lied in 1993), a homophobic atmosphere is still there.

As seen in Chechnya, the gay men are persecuted and threatened to death.

And this is a big issue not only for Russia but for the whole world.

By documenting the everyday life of couples of different ages in cities and towns, by photographing the hidden places, by taking portraits I look to collect pieces of the bright LGBT portrait of Russia. I look for ordinary, for universal moments.

Unfortunately, little attention was paid to trying to find a new angle for this topic. I want to discover an ability of people to enjoy the moment and value the happiness and joy of everyday life despite an open homophobia on the television, by politicians and the predominant Orthodox Church.

My protagonists still care about not showing their feelings in public but they are not afraid to show their faces in my story. This project is a continuation of my attempt at trying to find something positive even in the worst situations.

My work will aim to take steps toward a more tolerant Russian society, to start discussions and debates.

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  • Russia, Saint Petersburg, 12/08/2018. Maria Krugovaya (left) is caressing her girlfriend Anastasia Vyadro (right) who is caressing their cat Sam at the same moment.They are together for 7 months and plan to start living together soon.
    Maria Krugovaya (35) from Saint Petersburg is a photographer (sensual portrait, erotica, nude) and open gay. Anastasia Vyadro (29) from Saratov is a choreographer, dancer and an actor in the immersive show “Faceless”.

  • Russia, Saint Petersburg, 13/08/2018. Maria Krugovaya in the hands of her girlfriend Anastasia Vyadro.They are together for 7 months and plan to start living together soon.
    Maria Krugovaya (35) from Saint Petersburg is a photographer (sensual portrait, erotica, nude) and open gay. Anastasia Vyadro (29) from Saratov is a choreographer, dancer and an actor in the immersive show “Faceless”.

  • Russia, Saint Petersburg, 03/08/2018. Kirill Chkanov (26) hugs his boyfriend Alexandr Govorukhin (30) in Alexandr’s flat in Saint Petersburg.
    Kirill Chkanov (26) from Samara is ABA therapist. He lives in Saint Petersburg for 4 years. His family and friends knows about his homosexuality. Kirill works with children and prefers not to tell their parents that he is gay.
    Alexandr Govorukhin (30) from Montschegorsk lives in Saint Petersburg for 12 years already. He is a travesti actor (stage name Miss Tekila) at the “Central Station SPB” gay club, “The Blue Oyster” gay bar and a makeup artist. Alexandr is an open gay.
    Alexandr and Kirill are together for 4 months.

  • Russia, Saint Petersburg, 31/05/2018. Anna Gavrilova (25) and Jane Sytenko (30) are cuddling at home. They have recently celebrated one year dating anniversary. They have a tradition to ask each other if they agree to marry each day at 16:16.

  • Belarus, Minsk, 07/04/2018. Maxim Avdeev (right) and Victor Repetsky (left) are taking a shower in a rental flat in Minsk.
    Maxim Avdeev (25) from Agryz lives in Saint Petersburg for 5,5 years already. He is HR and the Head of hospitality management and quality of service in the “Bekitzer“ bar, an english teacher, a vogue dancer and a model.
    Victor Repetsky (22) from Nakhodka lives in Saint Petersburg for 4 years. He is a professional vogue dancer (House of BONCHINCHE), a dance teacher and a model. Maxim and Victor are open gays and are together for 8 months.

  • Russia, Saint Petersburg, 13/08/2018. Maria Krugovaya is touching her girlfriend Anastasia Vyadro with her leg.They are together for 7 months and plan to start living together soon.
    Maria Krugovaya (35) from Saint Petersburg is a photographer (sensual portrait, erotica, nude) and open gay. Anastasia Vyadro (29) from Saratov is a choreographer, dancer and an actor in the immersive show “Faceless”.

  • Russia, Saint Petersburg, 30/07/2018. Anna Gavrilova (left) and Jane Sytenko (right) on the sofa with Jane’s mother Irina (in the middle). Anna (25) and Jane (30) have recently celebrated one year dating anniversary. They have a tradition to ask each other if they agree to marry each day at 16:16.

  • Russia, Saint Petersburg, 17/08/2018. The portrait of Maria Krugovaya in her flat in Saint Petersburg. Maria Krugovaya (35) from Saint Petersburg is a photographer (sensual portrait, erotica, nude) and open gay.

  • Russia, Saint Petersburg, 12/08/2018. Maria Krugovaya (left) and Anastasia Vyadro (right) are brushing their teeth in Maria’s flat in Saint Petersburg. They are together for 7 months and plan to start living together soon.
    Maria Krugovaya (35) from Saint Petersburg is a photographer (sensual portrait, erotica, nude) and open gay. Anastasia Vyadro (29) from Saratov is a choreographer, dancer and an actor in the immersive show “Faceless”.


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