Sanjeev

Community Arts & Cultural Development

Outings

Outings is a photographic essay that chronicles the coming out stories of the LGBTIQ+community by revisiting the spaces that shaped their coming out journeys in hopes to reclaim that space.

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Outings is a photographic exhibition in conjunction with Coming Out Day on 11 October 2019. The exhibition will feature far-reaching members of the LGBTQI+ community in Victoria. A crucial component of the exhibition is for subjects to recall a time and a space that had a significant influence or impact on their journey of self-acceptance. Subjects will return to these spaces, or recreate them, to reclaim the space and own it through a portrait photo session.

The main exhibition and launch will be hosted at Chapel off Chapel. There will also be a “street” exhibition in the form of paste-up posters throughout Melbourne, taking the exhibition to the public. These will run for three weeks. The collection will then be donated to the Victorian Pride Centre.

I hope to be be able to take the exhibition on regional tour around Victoria in 2020 before donating it to the VPC.

My objective is to create opportunities for LGBTIQ+ people to tell their stories in hopes of building greater understanding and acceptance amongst the wider community.

As a gay man coming to terms with my sexuality in my 20s, I sought out the stories of other people’s coming out experiences, to learn from them, to try to understand what it would feel like, to find common ground, to feel that I wasn’t the only one feeling the way I was. It is these stories that fuelled my courage to eventually come out to my family in my early 30s.

Ten years later, I’m still coming out and I am still drawn and inspired by the stories of other people’s coming out journeys. I strongly believe this platform to capture the stories of those before us will help others still coming to terms with their gender identify and sexual orientation in a profound way.

My hope is to launch this initial project in Victoria, socialise it, create engagement and develop it further into a national project.

The funds raised through this campaign will be used primarily for production costs of printing and framing the images for the main exhibition, venue hire and the hanging fee. Following the exhibition, we will look at opportunities to bring the exhibition on a regional tour around Victoria in 2020 before being donated to the Victorian Pride Centre. The works will not be for sale.

We will also use the funds towards the printing and distribution of the street posters, in an effort to bring the exhibition out to the public. There will be links/QR codes on the posters to direct people to the main exhibition and to our Facebook page.

You can find out more and follow our progress on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OutingsPhotoProject or Instagram @OutingsPhotoProject

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I’m an emerging photographer based in Melbourne. Following a redundancy from corporate world at the end of 2013, I decided to pursue my passion in photography and enrolled in a 2-year program with a local college. Since graduating, I have set up a freelance photography business specialising in portraits and events, and have had the pleasure of working with some amazing people including 2016 Australian of the Year nominee Rebecca Scott, renown chef Jacque Reymond, transgender activist Georgie Stone and Melbourne cabaret queen Dolly Diamond.

Beyond my commercial work, I am particularly interested in visual story-telling and hope to use photography as a platform to bring to light stories that don’t get a chance to be told. This project will mark my first solo exhibition and I hope to develop it into a national project.

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