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Belfast Photo Festival 2017: Dazed 2017
Mebrak and AronPhotography Rankin, fashion Alister Mackie, taken from Issue 63

The most boundary-pushing images from the Dazed archive

Dazed opens its archive in an exploration of how fashion and photography help shape gender identity as its most progressive images go on display in Belfast

For the 2017 installment of the Belfast Photo Festival, a visual art festival and photographic biennial based in Northern Ireland, the Dazed team has pored over the magazine’s vast archives and selected their favourite moments where fashion and photography have helped shape gender identity – the theme of this year’s festival. For the entire month of June, around 30 of these groundbreaking images that pushed, and are still pushing, those ever-important and ever-changing notions forward, have been blown up and posted around the city.

From the March 2000 “Feel It” issue of Dazed where photographer and co-founder Rankin snapped eight couples mid-make out session. To an angelic-looking Young Thug captured by Harley Weir dressed in a Molly Goddard tulle gown (Autumn 2015). Elsewhere, intersex model and advocate, Hanne Gaby Odiele is photographed by Clara Balzary (Spring Summer 2017). And trans model Andreja Pejic is lensed by Jeff Bark (Summer 2015).

“Fashion imagery is a fantasy prism through which society can not only be glimpsed but is constructed – it's a playground where ideas of gender, beauty, and sexuality can be explored,” says Dazed Digital’s Fashion Features Editor Emma Allwood. “From the gingham gimp mask that covered our sixth ever issue, to Collier Schorr's magnetic, subtly erotic black and white portraits, and that headline-grabbing Azealia Banks condom moment, the pages of Dazed have always had something to make you look twice, push your buttons, or expand your perceptions. These images are just a taste of that.”

Alongside a selection of the Dazed archive, a range of exhibitions, workshops, screenings, masterclasses, reviews, and tours will help attendees explore facets of the theme via representation, self-portraiture, ideology, the body, fashion and community. Various talks are also scheduled, with Group Creative Director of Dazed Media Ronojoy Dam taking part in a panel titled Photography: Construction of Sexuality today (2 June) from 12-2pm.

With the festival just opened, Dazed has put together a gallery of its favourite photos from the past 25 years. Head down to Writers Square in Belfast from tomorrow to see a selection of them in the flesh.

Dazed & Confused at Belfast Photo Festival will run at Writers Square from 2 June – 26 June, Monday – Sunday from 9am-8pm. Belfast Photo Festival launches 1 June – 30 June 2017