To wrap up Pride Month, we wanted to highlight some acquisitions from the past few years. The following photobooks feature portraits of trans individuals.
To Survive on This Shore, photographs by Jess T. Dugan
From the publisher: “Representations of older transgender people are nearly absent from our culture and those that do exist are often one-dimensional. For over five years, photographer Jess T. Dugan and social worker Vanessa Fabbre traveled throughout the United States creating To Survive on this Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Older Adults. Seeking subjects whose lived experiences exist within the complex intersections of gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, sexuality, socioeconomic class, and geographic location, they traveled from coast to coast, to big cities and small towns, documenting the life stories of this important but largely underrepresented group of older adults. The featured individuals have a wide variety of life narratives spanning the last ninety years, offering an important historical record of transgender experience and activism in the United States.”
TransCuba, photographs by Mariette Pathy Allen
From the publisher: “For more than 30 years, New York-based photographer and painter Mariette Pathy Allen has been documenting transgender culture worldwide…[In] TransCuba, Allen focuses on the transgender community of Cuba, especially its growing visibility and acceptance in a country whose government is transitioning into a more relaxed model of communism under Raúl Castro’s presidency. This publication therefore records a cultural watershed within Cuba.”
On Christopher Street: Transgender Stories,
photographs by Mark Seliger
From the publisher: “[Seliger’s] portraits of trans people on Christopher Street combined with their moving and deeply personal stories remind us of our need for sanctuary, for a space to call our own. Their presence challenges us to redefine home, community, and ownership. Their presence challenges us to stop and reflect. No longer will we remain idle and pass by them in fear and prejudice. We will stand with them, recognize them, and see them. These are our streets, and these are our people.”
Female, photographs by Pilar Vergara
From the publisher: “Female strives to capture transgender women without artificial studio lighting or the irrelevance of color. While trans people are often sensationalized in the media, Pilar Vergara set out to quietly capture their individuality through intimate portraits.”
American Boys, photographs by Soraya Zaman
From the publisher: “American Boys by photographer Soraya Zaman is a bold and intuitive representation of the transmasculine community from big cities to small towns across the USA. For three years, Zaman traveled to 21 states to photograph and interviewed 29 transmasculine individuals aged 18 to 35 in their hometowns at distinct stages of their transition. Zaman’s sincere and tender portraits and accompanying essays candidly capture their grace and humanity providing viewers with a snapshot into their lives, personality, honesty and journeys across the transmasculine spectrum.”
Finally, we would like to highlight a photobook by Duke alumni, Mikael Owunna.
Limitless Africans, photographs by Mikael Owunna
From the creator: “I found photography as my voice…and in 2013 I began Limitless Africans. Over the course of four years, I would travel to ten different countries across North America and Europe to document, for the first time, the LGBTQ African immigrant experience. Shooting and interviewing over 50 LGBTQ African immigrants, I found that every one had experienced a similar sense of rejection on all sides. This body of work is a collaborative response between me and my community, to re-define what it means to be an immigrant, African and queer in North America and Europe at this time. To confront, with our self-love and stories, the oppressive narratives that say we should not exist. We are Limitless.”