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Laurence Rasti to present ‘There Are No Homosexuals in Iran’ in Yangon

Pro Helvetia New Delhi is delighted to present its first project in Yangon in partnership with &PROUD – LGBT Festival, Myanmar Deitta, Myanm/art Gallery and the Embassy of Switzerland in Myanmar.

There Are No Homosexuals In Iran

an exhibition of photographs by
Laurence Rasti
Switzerland | Iran

Opening: Thursday 8 November 2018 at 6:30 pm
With artist talk and walk-through
Pansuriya Gallery, 100 Bogalay Zay St, Yangon, Myanmar
Open to all

On view until Sunday 18 November 2018

Post its presentation at Photo Kathmandu, Laurence Rasti will take her work ‘There are no homosexuals in Iran’ to Yangon. In her photographs she explores the concepts of identity and beauty. Based on her dual cultural background, she views Swiss and Iranian cultural codes and conventions in a new light with a view to understanding the sway of gender roles in society.

There Are No Homosexuals in Iran | Artist’s statement
Speaking at Columbia University on September 24, 2007, Iranian president at the time Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proclaimed: “In Iran, we do not have homosexuals like in your country.”

While most Western nations now officially accept homosexuality and some even same-sex marriage, homosexuality is still punishable by death in Iran. Homosexuals are not allowed to live out their sexuality there. Their only options are either to choose transsexuality, which is tolerated by law but considered pathological, or to flee.

In Denizli, a city in Turkey, hundreds of gay Iranians are stuck in a transit zone, their lives on hold, hoping against hope to be welcomed into a host country someday where they can start afresh and come out of the closet. Set in this state of limbo, where anonymity is the best protection, my photographs explore the sensitive concepts of identity and gender and seek to restore to each of these men and women the face their country stole from them.

-Laurence Rasti

View information flyer here.

Laurence Rasti also took the opportunity to conduct a workshop at Thuma Collective, a group of women photographers from Myanmar who are dedicated to visual storytelling. “Thuma” means “She” in Myanmar language.

Seen in the image are Akshay Pathak and Sadaf Raza from Pro Helvetia New Delhi with members of the Collective (L-R) Yu Yu Myint Than, Yin Htet Paing, Shwe Wutt Hmone, Khin Kyi Htet and Rita Khin.

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