Mikael Owunna, a Nigerian-Swedish American photographer, has been shooting LGBTQ African immigrants in the US, Canada, Trinidad and Europe for my project Limit(less). The purpose of this documentary photography project is to debunk the myth that being LGBTQ is "un-African.” In the series, he highlights his subjects’ humanity--casting them in warm light, with portraits that embody the range of sexual and gender expression. Limit(less) explores how LGBTQ African in diaspora navigate their identities and find ways to bridge this supposed “gap” between their LGBTQ and African identities. The project seeks to visually deconstruct this binary which states that one cannot be both LGBTQ and African by exploring how they assert their African identities with their style. Through Limit(less), Mikael hopes to gain deeper insight into how the lives and stories of LGBTQ Africans in diaspora are connected, and how we all find “limitless” ways to express ourselves and our individuality, despite the ostensible “limits” placed on us based on our marginalized identities. To see the project and read their stories, visit the Limit(less) website.
By T. McLendon