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No land for love - Photography exhibition

€1,290 of €8,000 goal

Raised by 24 people in 5 months
Created February 11, 2019
Jean-Christophe Husson
on behalf of Jean Christophe Husson

"No land for love"
is a series of portraits of men and women who had to flee their countries because they belong to the LGBTQ+ community.

It is a long run project whose first step is an exhibition in Amsterdam from the 18th of April to the 8th of June.

It is hosted and supported by IHLIA LGBT Heritage, at OBA Oosterdok, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Our ambition is to contribute to the public debate by sharing people’s stories, to fight against racism and homophobia.


Photographer Jean-Christophe Husson ( www.jchusson.fr) started his work about LGBTQ+ minorities in Marseille in France two years ago.

Now, he is working on this long run project and has teamed-up with producer Andrea Wainer.

This exhibition is hosted and supported by IHLIA LGBT Heritage, at OBA Oosterdok, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

It is also supported by foundations Rainbow Den Haag, Wereldhuis in Amsterdam and LGBT Asylum support in Groeningen.

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Purpose:
Although european countries are relatively accepting towards the LGBTQ+ community, the fight against the preconceptions and violence those people fled from might be a lengthy process.

We aim to set off a dialogue, to break stereotypes, to address societal questions with a visual vocabulary different from that usually featured by the mainstream media.

Our wish is to create a conversation between LGBT refugees, asylum seekers, and the public.

These women and men had to flee their countries, facing a violent discrimination that started within their own families. They were sometimes forced into marriage or raped by a close relative, forced to leave their houses, their town, finally their country, and often their children. Frequently, they had to escape from human trafficking.

We met many men and women from Syria, Libya, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Morocco...We were deeply touched by their stories and amazed by their energy, dreams, and goals for the future.

We want the European public to meet them too. This is what this exhibition is about.

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Every asylum seeker has to endure expectation, uncertainty, precariousness, for one, two, sometimes up to seven years. In addition to this, members of the LGBT community have to put up with the discriminations from their own fellow citizens, the lack of knowledge among the European public regarding the hardships they fled from, and the fear of disclosing their sexual orientation.

The portraits
The portraits are black and white photographs, on a white background. This is a deliberate aesthetic choice. There is nothing but a person, facing the audience. The person takes all. Telling her/his story, memories, dreams.

Each picture features a statement, or a dream, or a memory, something the person wants to share with the viewer. Most of these interviews were done during the photo session. This too is a deliberate choice.
We ask the person standing in front of the camera to think about this, about his or her words. They pose knowing that the viewer will read, will « hear » their testimonies. The text is part of the portrait.

We think these close-up portraits, the sharing of their stories, with a strong aesthetic intention, can help to change their image as conveyed by mainstream media and how the public perceives them.

It might also help to promote the efforts of dedicated foundations, working to support LGBT asylum seekers on an everyday basis.

The exhibition will first take place at OBA Oosterdok, in Amsterdam. It is a unique opportunity to reach a wide audience.

By presenting these stories we aim to contribute, on our modest scale, to fighting against racism, homophobia, ignorance and finally indifference.

We need your help to make this exhibition happen!

We need the funds for:

- 15 to 20 large size prints, presented in frames or on dibond 2mm,

- A printed paper catalog,

- Lights & studio for the video,

- Post-production / retouch

- Train tickets for the portrayed people

- Shipping costs for the prints.


What will you receive in exchange for your support?
You can choose a reward from the list below. They will be available by the end of April.
A portrait of your choice, with or without text. 
Examples : 
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- For 1000 Euros or more:

A portrait of your choice Size 60 x 90. Professional quality Epson inkjet on 270 gr paper. On dibond 2 mm. Signed by the artist and numbered from a limited series of 5. Free shipping within Europe. For shipping outside Europe, quotation on request.
Your name will be featured in the sponsor’s list on jchusson.fr website. And you will get our genuine, everlasting, gratitude. (If you are a company, the logo can be displayed too).

- For 500 Euros or more:

A print of your choice Size 40 x 60. Professional quality Epson inkjet on 270 gr paper. On dibond 2 mm. Signed by the artist and numbered from a limited series of 20. Free shipping within Europe. For shipping outside Europe, quotation on request.
Your name will be featured in the sponsor’s list on jchusson.fr website. And of course, our genuine, everlasting, gratitude.

- For 250 Euros or more:

A print of your choice Size 40 x 60. Professional quality Epson inkjet on 270 gr paper. Signed by the artist and numbered from a limited series of 20. Free shipping within Europe. For shipping outside Europe, quotation on request.
Your name will be featured in the sponsor’s list on jchusson.fr website. And of course, our genuine, everlasting, gratitude.

- For 100 Euros or more:

A print of your choice Size 30 x 40. Professional quality Epson inkjet on 270 gr paper, signed by the artist.   Your name will be featured in the sponsor’s list on jchusson.fr website. And of course, our genuine, everlasting, gratitude.

- For 35 Euros or more.

A print of your choice size 20x30. Fuji quality, signed by the artist. Your name will be featured in the sponsor’s list on jchusson.fr website. And of course, our genuine, everlasting, gratitude.

- For 25 Euros or more

A print of your choice size 9 x 13. Fuji quality, signed by the artist. Your name will be featured in the sponsor’s list on jchusson.fr website. And of course, our genuine, everlasting, gratitude.

- For 15 Euros or more.

Your name will be featured in the sponsor’s list on jchusson.fr website. And of course, our genuine, everlasting, gratitude.

You can also support this project by sharing the crowdfunding campaign.


The project is broader!

- A preview of the project will be presented on 15 March during Dordrecht Pride LGBT Congress within the « Synod400 » program.

- We are organizing theater / performance workshops with some of the asylum seekers.

- A second exhibition will take place at Broedplaats Bouw in Amsterdam from 10 to 16 June . More pictures will be presented then, plus a new video featuring the result of the first theater workshops.

- The exhibition is invited to travel to Harlem, New York, in September, to be presented at Nova Frontier Film Festival.

- We also expect it to travel to France. It will be enhanced with new portraits of asylum seekers in France.

- A book will be published in 2020. It will feature the portraits as well as interviews of intellectuals, association’s leaders, and cultural / political decision makers.

We will keep you updated at each step of the project. It’s starting now, and you can be part of it.

Please support, and share!

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Dear friends,

Next Week I would like to print​ the images you are all waiting for. I need your feedback, I need your choice. Please check my web site and choose one image within the No Land For Love section. : jchusson.fr. contact me by mail : jeanchristophehusson2mac.com. Thanks
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Dear donators,
The exhibition No Land For Love has started last Thursday, and the opening was a great success. Many visitors could listen to Mohamad and Elfrida amazing speeches. The daily newspaper Het Parool published a full page picture, and the online magazine ZijaanZij a great release.
The first film, written in collaboration with Mohamad was launched then. You can see it and share it at this link. https://vimeo.com/331180893.

Now, it’s time for you to choose your rewards. Please tell us which one you would like to receive, we will be glad to send it to you. Unfortunately, this platform doesn’t allow us to send you the full image list. Please kindly choose from the website http://jchusson.fr/

Thank you again for your great support, that made this first step so successful. We continue our work to make the project bigger: more portraits, more videos, more exhibitions, and the book.
Please follow the activity of the project on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/nolandforlove/ and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/jchussonphotography/


Chers donateurs,
Le vernissage de l’exposition No Land For Love a eu lieu jeudi dernier et ce fut un grand succès. De nombreux visiteurs ont pu entendre les mots émouvants de Mohamad et Elfrida, et découvrir le premier film, écrit en collaboration avec Mohamad. Vous pouvez également le voir ici : https://vimeo.com/331180893.

Maintenant, il est temps pour vous de choisir vos contreparties ! Dites-nous quel portrait vous souhaitez recevoir, nous serons très heureux de vous l’envoyer. Il ne nous est pas possible techniquement d’ajouter à ce communiqué toutes les images avec les noms. Aussi, nous vous remercions de choisir votre contrepartie sur le site http://jchusson.fr/

Merci encore pour votre soutien précieux. Nous poursuivons le travail pour faire grandir le projet : nouvelles images, nouvelles vidéos, d’autres expositions, et le livre.
N’hésitez pas à suivre les actualités du projet sur la page Facebook https://www.facebook.com/nolandforlove/
et sur Instagram https://www.instagram.com/jchussonphotography/

A très bientôt pour la suite,
Jean-Christophe et Andrea
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The opening of the exhibition is this Thursday, the 18th of April. Join us at 17:30!

Le vernissage de l'exposition a lieu le jeudi 18 avril. Nous vous attendons à 17h30 !

Thanks to your contributions the first exhibition of the project NO LAND FOR LOVE is set up at IHLIA-PLEIN. We would be delighted to see you at the opening, on Thursday 18th April at 17:30. OBA, Oosterdokskade 143, 3rd floor, 1011 DL Amsterdam.
Jean-Christophe & Andrea

Grâce à vos contributions, nous avons pu réaliser la première exposition du projet NO LAND FOR LOVE. Nous serions heureux de vous recevoir lors du vernissage, le jeudi 18 avril à 17h30 à IHLIA-PLEIN. OBA, Oosterdokskade 143, 3ème étage, 1011 DL Amsterdam.
Jean-Christophe & Andrea



An interview with the photographer Jean-Christophe Husson

Why are you interested in LGBTQ asylum seekers?
It is a combination of circumstances. In 2018, I exhibited in Amsterdam a series of portraits of young gay, trans and queer persons belonging to the Muslim community from the city of Marseille. This work triggered many questions about both their situation and my work as a photographer/screenwriter. I wanted to explore further.

Following the exhibition, I met various activists and social workers defending LGBTQ + asylum seeker rights in The Netherlands. I started to contact young gay and lesbian asylum seekers and refugees via Facebook. We had short chats first, then set meetings for portraits. Every meeting revealed to me a new and different story. Step by step the subject became more accurate, and the project took shape. On one side the individual meetings, on the other, activists and social workers helping us to reach more people and giving us clues to understand all these singular situations.

Why photography, why portrait?
There are two types of images: the « real » images that we see every day and the mental images, those that we stock in our memories. We use mental images to recognize and understand those that we see every day.

Mental images help us to quickly recognize reality. Like an antelope recognizing a lion and running within a second. This is a reflex, a quick connexion. Today we would say « fast thinking ». When it comes to social and human issues, a « fast thinking » state of mind can drive to preconceptions and prejudice. I believe that we need context, culture and time to perceive and understand images and complex situations.

There is a profusion of images about refugees, but one type prevails: boats, camps, queues… Mass media spreads enormous amounts of those images, too many, like a traffic jam, and by doing so, they create mental ones. We consume most of them on T.V., web sites and social media, most of the time too quickly. This is a source of simplistic thoughts and stereotypes, where prejudice can arise.

That’s why I have chosen to create studio portraits and to exhibit them in a public space. I want to change the mental image the audience has in mind about this specific issue. I want to bring slowness, I want to bring singularity. And hopefully, the singularity will overcome prejudice.

The way we see photographs when showcased on walls of galleries, or public spaces, or on the pages of a book, are the antithesis of the social media experience, which is « consumption ».
I want to address three aspects of this experience: time, scale and proximity. They all affect the perception and the power of photographs.
For this project I want the audience to see what I could see every time I worked on the portraits on my computer. I spend a lot of time on each image. Time makes a difference. When you are facing large scale portrait, when you can focus your attention on the details of a face, like the eyes or the skin, step by step a lot of information appears, like clues revealed one after the other. This way of looking at someone’s face isn’t allowed in everyday social behavior. This is the power of photography.

You also make films. What kind of films? Documentary? Fiction?
There is a need to tell stories, there is a need to reveal taboos, hidden aspects, like human trafficking for example, or violence, or rape. Many persons told intimate stories to Andrea and me but, of course, it’s impossible for them to share them with the public. This is why fiction is needed. I am working on fiction scripts, even series for platforms such as Netflix. This is where stories have to be told in order to reach the public.
Photography, documentary, fiction. We really need all these tools to speak about reality. This is my aim.

You work as a commercial photographer too, how do you combine both sides of your work?
Private companies, organizations, are made by people, they have specific situations too. Most companies now have inclusivity and diversity departments to help their teams become tightly knitted. Moreover, commercial photography reaches a very wide audience. Companies have powerful communication means and their own public. It is an interesting way to address societal questions, especially for those who already set an inclusivity approach. My aim, here again, is to tell people’s stories.

What results do you expect from this exhibition?
Our goal is to produce as many portraits as possible, to collect testimonies and make this exhibition grow and travel. We are seeking for media exposure to support the exhibition, for magazines to publish the images, for institutions, whether private or public, big or small, to invite and support the project.
The result will be the number. The more stories will be shared, the more individuals the public will meet, contributing to create a different image, the more powerful the project will be.

And beyond this exhibition?
We are currently launching a foundation, La Conversation, with Andrea Wainer. Together we wish to make this project bigger and to launch other projects with the same scope. Our wish is to address this and other societal questions by sharing people’s stories. We both believe that getting to know individuals is the key to overcome prejudice.
Our means are photography, film, performances and books.

Amsterdam, April 10th, 2019.

Follow our Instagram account.
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Thank you!
Thanks to your contributions we could print the first portraits, and set the preview exhibition at Dordrecht. We are now working on the main exhibition at the library OBA Oosterdok, in Amsterdam. Keep sharing the campaign, we need more funds.
Thank you for your support !

Merci, merci, merci !
Grâce à vos dons nous avons pu imprimer les premiers portraits et les présenter à l'avant-première à Dordrecht. Nous travaillons maintenant au montage de l'exposition à la grande bibliothèque OBA Oosterdok, à Amsterdam.
Nous avons toujours besoin de fonds pour cette étape, continuez à partager la campagne !
Merci encore !
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€1,290 of €8,000 goal

Raised by 24 people in 5 months
Created February 11, 2019
Jean-Christophe Husson
on behalf of Jean Christophe Husson
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