In the spotlight: 'I BELIEVE I AM GAY' by Hadas Itzkovitch and Anya van Lit
In the 16th century, what is now called 'the Netherlands' declared freedom of religion for all its citizens. The Netherlands has always been one of the most progressive countries in the world concerning LGBTIQ rights, and in 2001 became the first country to legalise same-sex marriage. Does this Dutch spirit of openness and tolerance allow today’s religious LGBTIQ individuals the freedom to live in peace with their identity within the restrictions and conventions of their religion?
This question was the starting point of a one and a half year journey for photography duo Hadas Itzkovitch and Anya van Lit, during which they portrayed LGBTIQ Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus alike. The subjects also include various community leaders, such as a rabbi and reverends. All the portraits were taken at their studio in Amsterdam, spanning the years 2013-2015. The series is composed of 37 portraits; 18 portraits are exhibited at poşe open space in Istanbul, Turkey.
Hadas Itzkovitch and Anya van Lit is a photography duo based in Amsterdam. They have been exclusively working together since 2013, following long solo careers as photographers/artists. The duo uses their practice to examine socially engaged contemporary issues and the place of the individual’s identity within modern society. A great deal of their portrait series focus on highlighting the visibility of the LGBTIQ community and LGBTIQ individuals within nowadays’ social structure. The works emphasize the fundamental position LGBTIQs take in all aspects of this social structure, whilst referring to the main influential pillars constructing it. The duo dedicates themselves to long research periods for a better understanding of their subject matters which result in series composed of large scale staged portraits.
Hadas Itzkovitch (1977) studied photography at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. Anya van Lit (1968) studied photography at St Joost Academy of Art in Breda. The duo’s works have been widely exhibited and published both nationally and internationally and they received numerous grants for their realization of their projects. Itzkovitch and van Lit are the recipients of the 'Free Press Unlimited Best Report Award 2019.'
Are you a Dutch or Netherlands-based artist performing abroad in the (near) future and would you like to be in the spotlight? Send us an email with detailed information and two horizontal high res images. The editing team will make a selection and get back to you.
If you are a cultural professional who wants to go to Turkey, feel free to contact our Turkey advisor Yasemin Bagci.
I BELIEVE I AM GAY is kindly supported by the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Turkey and the City of Amsterdam.