The portrayal of same-sex relationships can be pretty, well, same-y. It’s a colourful, cheery cookie cutter that permeates the mainstream perception of queerness.
Photographic duo Bardo began their series on Christopher Street Day in Germany, an annual LGBT festival held across Europe to commemorate the Stonewall Riots and celebrate pride. It was there that they captured a jubilant, reveling community.
“The idea is to explore sexuality in different cities, different taboos and my own discovery of it through who I photograph,” Lindsay Hamlyn, the Zimbabwean-born half of Bardo explains. “The pride festival in Germany was very extraordinary in terms of it being more of a once a year deal where everyone dresses up, and so I wanted to show the normality of same-sex relationships, not just the outlandishness.”
Although inspired by the wonderful positivity that radiates through each European city during Pride, Lindsay Hamlyn and Toa Daguet were keen to explore encounters and relationships outside of the parties, marches and protests. This ideal is what spurned Bardo’s latest project. Stripped back, diverse, LGBT individuals. “The photos are more personal and ordinary with a much younger generation of gay couples – and singles – all of which are South African, exploring the different facets of the gay scene in different cities, different generations, different state of minds I find myself in,” Hamlyn says.