My current project ‘Opulence’ is an ode to my late brother and all people from Afro-Caribbean descent, that still are not free to live and express their sexuality to their fullest.
To this day homosexuality is strongly stigmatised and condemned within the Caribbean community. Also, Black people from the former colonies and the Caribbean islands in the Netherlands are increasingly radicalised and objectified. This project seeks to break out of this dichotomy by portraying these subjects in unadorned, raw yet graceful portraits.
During the spring of 2013 I started documenting the Ballroom scene in Amsterdam, Berlin, Milan and Paris. ‘Houses’ organise vibrant meetings that offer emancipatory possibilities of expression that relate to gender and/or race issues in a trustworthy environment where fashion and attitude mix with mutual understanding.
Houses provide a source of family nurturing that oftentimes a lot of kids don’t get at home. LGBTQ+ youth of color are some of the most structurally vulnerable sectors of the world population. In the contemporary Ballroom scene in the U.S and E.U., most LGBTQ+ people of color are working class or poor, and disproportionately suffer from racism/white supremacy, homophobia and transphobia, and dispossession, exclusion, and marginalisation in their communities of origin.