Sunday, 4 March 2012

Transpinay human rights defenders go to bed with famed photographer

For many women, the "bedroom" is not just a room but represents a multiplicity of meanings. It can be a site of struggle for power, pleasure and personhood. To others, it can be a place of vulnerability, where personal issues are dealt with--those that pertain to the body, health, sense of well-being, sense of belonging, sexuality, gender, pain, lust and love.

On International Women's Month, the Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP), the pioneer organization of transgender rights advocates in the Philippines, revisits the idea of the "bedroom" as a complex space. Collaborating with renowned photographer Niccolo Cosme, transpinays (transgender/transsexual Filipinas) figuratively go to bed with Cosme to produce black-and-white images of transgender women confronting the issues that they face daily: discrimination, hate, the struggle for equality, identity, their place in public/social institutions, social roles and relationships, kinship, sisterhood and community.

These photographs are not only meant to showcase the diversity, beauty, and strength of the transpinay but also to trigger a reflection on the power of self-determination and how in the bedroom the personal is also the political.
The exhibit will run from 5-9 March 2012 at the Law School of the Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) Professional Schools and is co-presented by the Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC) Women’s Desk. 

Written for STRAP by Chairwoman Ms Naomi Fontanos