[Left] Chaya Singh, who won Miss Koovagam 2013, a beauty pageant contest for transgender women organized during the festival, poses for a portrait on the street in Villupuram where her and her friends solicit clients. Image by Sami Siva. India, 2014. [Center] "You can be gay and you can be a Christian. It is your choice to come to the church and talk about salvation." Reverend Ruth Galimaka, St. John's Kamwokya, Church of Uganda. Image by Daniella Zalcman. Uganda, 2014. [Right] Dmitry Chizhevsky in a Saint Petersburg hospital, where he was treated following an attack on an LGBT meeting. Doctors were not able to save his vision in his left eye. Image by Misha Friedman. Russia, 2013. Add this image to a lesson
[Left] Chaya Singh, who won Miss Koovagam 2013, a beauty pageant contest for transgender women organized during the festival, poses for a portrait on the street in Villupuram where her and her friends solicit clients. Image by Sami Siva. India, 2014. [Center] "You can be gay and you can be a Christian. It is your choice to come to the church and talk about salvation." Reverend Ruth Galimaka, St. John's Kamwokya, Church of Uganda. Image by Daniella Zalcman. Uganda, 2014. [Right] Dmitry Chizhevsky in a Saint Petersburg hospital, where he was treated following an attack on an LGBT meeting. Doctors were not able to save his vision in his left eye. Image by Misha Friedman. Russia, 2013. Add this image to a lesson

Join the Pulitzer Center on Sunday, March 6, 2016, for the opening of "God, Government and LGBT Rights in Russia, India and Uganda," a photography exhibit in the Monroe C. Gutman Library Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In this exhibit, Misha Friedman, Daniella Zalcman and Sami Siva, three photographers and Pulitzer Center grantees explore the lives and realities of LGBT communities abroad in the wake of major legislation. This exhibit provides glimpse into those communities in India, Russia and Uganda.

In his project "India's Third Gender" Siva explores the realities of the transgender community in India. Soon after the Supreme Court ruling that acknowledges the existence of India’s third gender, Siva traveled to Koovagam, a Hindu religious festival and one of the world’s largest transgendered festivals to document and offer a glimpse into the lives of India’s transgendered women. Without many legitimate options for employment, many transgendered women turn to prostitution, putting them at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.

Friedman documents the LGBT community in Russia and Crimea in his projects "Official Homophobia" and "Crimea: The Human Toll."

"They are prisoners in their own homes,” he says, “hiding their identities, afraid to live a full life while looking for hope elsewhere."

Zalcman documents a similar situation in Uganda in her project, "Kuchus in Uganda." In February 2014, Uganda signed into law the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, prompting members of the LGBTQ population to either flee and seek asylum elsewhere or take their personal lives underground. Several months later, the Constitution Court struck down the law on a procedural technicality: the decision is seen both as a disappointment in its failure to address the law as a human rights violation as well as a victory for the evolution of LGBT rights and a step in the gradual destigmatization and decriminalization.

Zalcman explores the importance and context of religion in Uganda during this time through her portrait series, “Faces of Faith,” photographing religious leaders and capturing their varying opinions and perspectives on the LGBT community.

“I think that these perspectives are vital to the evolution of the LGBT rights movement,” Zalcman says, “More than anything, I hope this work encourages people to start a conversation.”

Zalcman and Friedman will also speak on panels on Saturday, March 5, at the third edition of the LGBTQ Conference at Harvard. The conference will explore the theme "Beyond Marriage Equality: Rainbows at the Crossroads" and separate registration is required.

God, Government and LGBT Rights in Russia, India and Uganda
Monroe C. Gutman Gallery
Harvard University
Sunday, March 6
Free Reception: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
6 Appian Way
Cambridge, MA 02138

Exhibit Closing March 31

Project

Image by Misha Friedman. Russia, 2013.
With homophobic rhetoric now legitimized by federal law, being gay in Russia can be extremely dangerous.

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Photojournalists and Pulitzer Center grantees Misha Friedman and Daniella Zalcman took part in panels at the third annual LGBTQ Conference at Harvard University.
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Daniella Zalcman and Misha Friedman focus on their work from Uganda, Russia and Crimea as part of "Beyond Marriage Equality: Rainbows at the Crossroads."