“When people’s love is divided by the law, it is the law that needs to change.”
– United Kingdom PM David Cameron on the introduction of the new British marriage law, March 2014.
Love, body, identity: all of these exist in the realm of the personal. Each of them of is ours in a way that nothing else can be, and each of them won’t always be perfect – because nothing is ever meant to be. When we embrace ourselves, our bodies, our ways of loving – without judgement, without conditions, without faulty preconceived notions of what “perfect” is – that’s when we become truly free. Nothing can be more empowering than the sight of a person who loves him/her/herself openly, wholly, flaws and all, or someone who loves another person the same way. Surely no law or decree can snatch that freedom away? Turns out that in India, Russia, Uganda, and many other countries – the law can. It can arrest you for being who you are (“Kill the Gays” bill, Uganda), or for coming out of your closet publically (Russia), or for expressing your love physically (reinstating Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. On the plus side however, the same Supreme Court has recognized transgender people as ‘third gender’). The law has now entered our houses and bedrooms, and left us feeling like criminals for being who we are. For being anything other than straight, cisgender, heteronormative. Laws are meant to protect the rights and freedoms of their citizens. But when the same laws are framed to protect only a certain group, a certain gender, a certain class of people, and persecute the rest, they lose their value. Embracing our identity as queer persons and loving freely, are personal freedoms. Without the support of the law, what happens to our personal freedoms? To our rights? Will this denial of such an integral part of ourselves, make our fight to be heard stronger? Or will it crush us beneath its weight? These are the questions our exhibition hopes to answer, through art, in our current theme: Love, Law, Loss.
“There are no lakes of fire;
they’re here on earth
and the only thing to do is
put love first”
– “Same Love Freestyle”, Angel Haze.
We are currently inviting entries, in the form of photographs, artwork, cartoons, or caricatures. The last date for submission is 31st December, 2014. We accept original pieces from all over the world.