Hoda Afshar is a photographer and visual artist who recently had a solo exhibition titled “Behold”. She captured these images in a small town located in Iran. As the gay men living there can lead their lives, on the condition they live it in secret. Some of the men invited her to take some photos inside a traditional bathhouse in Iran. To show the world how they have to live in secret.
Says Hoda Afshar
“I was travelling in a city that I sometimes return to, and I got to know a group of gay men. There, where they live, these men (and many others like them) are mostly left to be. But only on the condition that they lead one part of their lives in secret. Rarely, that is, do their bodies ever meet in open honesty outside, in public. Only here, in this bathhouse, where their desire to be seen and embraced by others — just to be and to be held — is played out in the partial openness of these four closed walls,”
Afshar captures a bunch of these men who played themselves performing their lives for his camera, “in order that their desire to be seen might be realized.” In her works, Hoda reflects on issues related to the politics of representation, gender, and displacement, aiming to open lines of communication in a world both homogenized by global economy and unsettled by mass migration.
You can view some of the beautiful images yourself at Hoda Afshar website