by Leander Milbrecht
The Polish photographer Pamela Porwen started a photography project in which she photographed prominent queer people from Poland as wedding couples. The photos will be exhibited in May. Inspiration for the project was the deteriorating situation of the queer community in Poland and the fact that there is no legal recognition for same-sex couples.
During the shootings, Porwen captured tender, emotional moments between the life partners – similar to a wedding shoot. With the pictures, she and her models want to remind everyone: Same-sex couples cannot celebrate a wedding in Poland, they cannot even engage into registered civil partnerships.
Sportswoman Karolina Brzuszczyńska and her partner Agnieszka Skrzeczkowska, a well-known influencer, took part as well as the politician Paweł Rabiej, Deputy Mayor of Warsaw, and his partner Michał Cessanis. Also present: the two queer activists Jakub Kwiecinski and Dawid Mycek, who made a name for themselves outside Poland with YouTube videos.
Asked about the reasons for his consent to the project, Michał Cessanis explained:
“When we were offered the chance to participate in the shooting, our answer could only be ‘yes’. For years we have been calling for equal treatment of marriage. And we see ourselves as a married couple, regardless of what any bishop, deputy or president thinks about it. We want to be able to marry officially in Poland, and I believe that this will soon be possible.”
Karolina Brzuszczyńska and Agnieszka Skrzeczkowska also commented on their participation:
“Our life as a married couple is not very different from that of a heterosexual couple. We work, travel, sleep, eat, love and talk. And we trust, care for and respect each other. Love is love, and like everyone else we want to enjoy it – the wedding is one of the special moments we remember for the rest of our lives”.
As one of the most important reasons to do the project, Pamela Porwen mentioned the current situation in Poland – since last year over 100 municipalities and cities declared themselves “LGBT-free zone” – together they account for more than a third of the country’s territory. Porwen described it as frightening that something like this could happen in this century – and drew connections to World War II, segregation and the Warsaw Ghetto.
She made clear:
“It’s sad enough that we don’t keep pace with Europe and that there are no registered partnerships in our country, not to mention the equality of marriage. But there is also more and more hatred. As an artist, I don’t agree with this, and I want to address it in my work.”
The exhibition is to take place in the Galeria Monopol in Warsaw. The opening was planned for 28 April – due to the Corona crisis the date was postponed to May.
- pamela porwen3: By Pamela Porwen
- Pamela Porwen: By Pamela Porwen
- pamela porwen4: By Pamela Porwen
- Pamela Porwen2: By Pamela Porwen
- pamela porwen6-klein: By Pamela Porwen
A ridiculous amount of coffee was consumed in the process of building this project. Add some fuel if you'd like to keep us going!