Book Release: WHO’S NEXT? by Charlotte Haslund-Christensen

Press release

Who's Next? by Charlotte Haslund-Christensen, 2012

WHO’S NEXT by Charlotte Haslund-Cristensen. Signed box sets containing 42 photographic prints

WHO’S NEXT? book release
The Hasselblad Center [Gothenburg, Sweden]
April 18 2012, 6 pm
Release reception with talks by Charlotte Haslund-Christensen, Eva Borgström, Senior Lecturer at Gothenburg University and Louise Wolthers, researcher at The Hasselblad Foundation.

In 2009 Charlotte Haslund-Christensen photographed over 40 LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people at Copenhagen’s main police station – capturing them in mugshots like the criminals they would be many places in the world.

The work is a comment on the fact that 76 countries continue to criminalise homosexuality – that LGBT people are still stigmatised, attacked and killed, with at least 5 countries making being gay punishable by death or life imprisonment.

The title WHO’S NEXT? is inspired by Pastor Martin Niemöller’s famous statement protesting political apathy during the rise of Nazism.

First they came for the communists,
And I didn’t speak out
Because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists
And I didn’t speak out
Because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
And I didn’t speak out
Because I wasn’t a Jew

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me.

The need to protest against the daily persecution and prosecution of LGBT people is as relevant today as at any point in history. With slated legislation for the death penalty in Uganda, a recently passed ban on even uttering the word ‘gay’ in St. Petersburg, and a walkout staged by numerous nations from the UN Human Rights Council on violence and discrimination against LGBT people, the need to speak out and express solidarity is stronger then ever.

Each of the LGBT people photographed in WHO’S NEXT? – participating to raise awareness of the human rights of sexual minorities – was taken down to the prison basement of Copenhagen Central Police Station. They were escorted past cell doors, stripped of jewellery, had their fingerprints taken and were photographed by the artist from the front and in profile in the starkly lit studio of the police authorities.

The resulting mugshots are printed in the original police format and individually inserted in archival plastic sleeves. The entire collection is assembled in a limited edition box that underlines the archive they represent and mimic, but also enables the project to travel discretely across borders to regions where homosexuality continues to be a crime.

The artist Charlotte Haslund-Christensen says:

“WHO’S NEXT? is an act of solidarity and symbol of support. The box can be ‘smuggled’ past censorship and prejudice in the suitcases of a broad and international network that supports human rights, then handed over to contacts in the LGBT community in each of the 76 countries that criminalise their lives”. The purchase of each box supports the distribution of WHO’S NEXT? to countries where LGBT people face daily prosecution and persecution and are denied basic human rights.

WHO’S NEXT?

is published and distributed by (…) Spacepoetry.dk
EDITION: 250 signed box sets containing 42 photographic prints
PRICE: 1.000 DKK, 180 $, 135 EUR

Related Link

Charlotte Haslund-Christensen’s online portfolio


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