This project will capture the lives of LGBTQ Russians, against the backdrop of an increasingly violent and anti-gay/lesbian society. Read more
This project was successfully funded on December 31, 2013.
About this project
“What Dyke Looks Like” (WDLL) is a portrait anthology of lesbian, queer, lgbtq identified women illustrating the reality and sometimes surreality of today’s gay lady/lesbro. Each participant is encouraged to present their idea of what “dyke looks like” to/for them.
This project seeks to take a closer look at what real queer women actually look like versus the stereotypes/preconceptions that people may have of their looks and lives. Cue images of Burly girls resplendent in plaid from head to toe or "The L word" gang in their completely "realistic" interpretation of gay life.
They are from all walks of life, class and creed, come in every shape and form, and though they may love box, they should not be defined in one.
I have been photographing this project since 2011 and have photographed well over 100 women in Brooklyn, Toronto, Vancouver, Seattle and many smaller communities throughout Canada and the U.S.
Saying "This is What Dyke Looks Like" is a bold statement. And it will never be a true one without an international scope beyond just the North American perspective.
In February of 2014 the world's eyes will be on Russia.
In light of the recent homophobia, violence towards queers and anti gay laws, I think right before the Olympics is the perfect time to go to Moscow and collect the stories of the LGBT community there through video interviews and photography.
Learn more about the anti-gay climate in Russia today:
Cis gendered men are not usually part of WDLL (for obvious reasons) but the importance of hearing the voices of the entire LGBTQ community supercedes our regular mandate.
I photograph each session for free and cover all costs (95%) out of pocket or through donations/other forms of support (5%.)
Each participant is encouraged to present their idea of "what dyke/lesbian/queer looks like” to/for them.
Concepts can range from the simple: “What dyke looks like me!” to the abstract: ” I don’t identify with most of the mainstream concepts of what a gay woman is, so I feel like a fish out of water.”and I collaborate with them to illustrate that visually.
What I'll use your monies for:
- Translators, both in Russia and at home when transcribing video footage.
- Production costs, as mentioned above travel, props, and snacks for participants add up.
- Local fixer costs (fancy journalist word for local guide)
- Printing costs to show the Russia images in galleries upon return to Canada.
- Rewards production costs, we've got some great incentives and haven't cut corners on quality to produce them.
I am a photographer, freelance multimedia journalist and visual designer.
I have been lucky enough to work for charities, and be published in newspapers/magazines in Ghana, Zimbabwe, Taiwan, The Philippines, Thailand, South Africa, Kenya, Singapore, Germany and North America.
You can see more of my work at www.kristyboyce.com
Though I've been able to take What Dyke Looks Like within North America at my own expense, I'm going to need a helping hand (or several...hundred?) to get take the project to Russia.
Cover Story Outvisions Magazine:
We've got tons of fun rewards on offer, from hummus recipes to 2014 calendars and fine art prints. There's also now undapants for certain backer levels! Check the project updates for new rewards!
Risks and challenges
The challenge at the centre of this part of the project will be that the recent laws allow foreigners accused of promoting homosexuality to be held for two weeks and then deported. I will need to be mindful of my own safety as well as the safety of the project participants.
However, my previous experiences working internationally have provided me with significant skills in regards to dealing with potentially dangerous/hostile environments. I also have a strong network of international journalists, aid workers, and generally awesome advisers.
Should we reach our funding goal and not be allowed into the country, all funds raised will be reallocated to another country with an LGBTQ2 community that is suffering human rights abuses. Sadly there are many.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
What about the safety of people you're photographing? Will you do some photos that don't show their identity?
This concern was pretty much the first worry that popped into my head when thinking about the Russia part of WDLL. Their Safety is incredibly important to me.
When I was in Zimbabwe, the government was so anti free press that I had colleagues beaten and jailed, some even having to seek asylum in other countries to keep from being killed. So there were quite a few stories that had to be told anonymously or in a way that ensured the sources stayed protected.
So for Russia the first thing I did was to make sure I had a photo series in mind that could work anonymously and still hold up artistically. That way, no matter what the environment I walk into there's a way to keep people's identities safe and still produce a compelling visual narrative.
Because it just doesn't work if both those things aren't there.
That said, many of the people I've been corresponding with are very out spoken, well known lbtq activists in Russia and will know the situation upon my arrival better than I and can advise on what the best course of action is.
I do think a lot of people want, as an act of strength and protest to show their faces, to show that these abuses are happening to real people; living breathing HUMAN members of their communities. As long as queers there are perceived as less than people, they will continue to be denied their human rights.
All of that is to say that it will be on a case by case basis in consultation with each participant depending on their individual situation, personal comfort levels and climate in Russia.
Pledge $5 or more
Good Karma and a shout out on facebook! The world's best lesbian hummus recipe sent right to your inbox. Get ready to wow them with the gayest spread a girl could ask for! Please note this hummus is straight/ally friendly.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or more
9 backers Limited (11 left of 20)
What Dyke Looks like photo postcard. Frame it and make your space extra fabulous or mail one to a secret admirer and see if that doesn't woo the pants right off them. Also includes: The world's best lesbian hummus recipe, good Karma and a shout out on Facebook!Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $25 or more
What Dyke Looks like postcard mixer (four pack). Frame em' and make your space extra fabulous or give them to your four besties and share the love! Also includes: The world's best lesbian hummus recipe, good Karma and a shout out on Facebook!Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $50 or more
A What Dyke Looks Like calendar with 12 beautiful portraits to make every month of 2014 as queer as can be. Also includes: postcard mixer (4 pack) and the world's best lesbian hummus recipe, good Karma and a shout out on Facebook!Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $100 or more
Signed What Dyke Looks Like calendar with 12 beautiful portraits to make every month of 2014 as queer as can be AND a signed gallery print. Also includes: postcard mixer (4 pack) and the world's best lesbian hummus recipe, good Karma and a shout out on Facebook!Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $250 or more
Signed 24x36 limited edition gallery print and What Dyke Looks Like unisex briefs by American Apparel. Wear the project logo on your tush with pride! Also includes: calendar, postcard mixer (4 pack) and the world's best lesbian hummus recipe, good Karma and a shout out on Facebook!Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $500 or more
Every session adds up! The costs for a photoshoot can run upwards of $500 with travel, and production costs.
With the $500 photoshoot sponsorship, you will literally help with the creation of this project in a way that might not happen otherwise. To thank you for your generosity, I will dedicate a photoshoot in your name which will be featured on the project website praising your generosity and encouraging people to buy you a nice lunch.
You will also receive your favourite image from the photoshoot you made happen in a signed 8x10 in addition to all the above gifts (hummus recipe, postcard mixer pack, calendar, briefs, and gallery print, good Karma and a shout out on Facebook!)Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $1,000 or more
Sponsor two photo shoots. Same as the $500 reward but with double the impact!
Your name as a significant donor in the photobook when published and listed on the project website as a significant donor. You will also get all the above backer gifts.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $2,500 or more
0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)
Your group/company/self, can be a top level backer of the project for this amount. Rewards include: Spend a day with me! We'll spend the day together however your generous little heart desires.
Suggested play dates are: I can give a talk about the project at your school, business, book club or bris.
You can come on a shoot and see how the magic's made. Note: This option may not be available depending on your location in the world/further monies may apply.
We'll have a day. Brunch, lattes, maybe a get our hair did. Have your own photo shoot or lesson.
Other rewards include special mention in the front of the photobook, along with the $1000 level backers. (Wording will be to the effect of: “Project made possible by a generous contribution from [your organization].
Special thanks to other contributors [$1000 level backers]”) Also includes your logo/name printed in the credits as a top level underwriter for the project, as well as special mention in the press releases and promotional materials when the book is released, (similar in previously mentioned wording).
Your organization/group will also be able to choose two of the limited edition gallery photographs from the gallery edition to have in your permanent art collection as well as all of the above rewards. For more information and details about this backer level, please contact me directly.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
- (36 days)