Mads Nissen (Denmark)

Mads Nissen (Denmark)

Homophobia in Russia 

Being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) is becoming more and more difficult in Russia, as sexual minorities face legal and social discrimination, harassment and even violent ‘hate crime’ attacks from religious and national conservative groups. 

In June 2013, Russia’s homophobia moved from the streets into the country’s legislation as the State Duma unanimously adopted an anti-gay law banning "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations", effectively making it illegal to hold any gay pride events, to speak in defence of gay rights, or to say that gay relationships are equal to heterosexual relationships. 

This reportage documents the harassment and those affected by it. It also covers the courtroom where gay activists are interrogated, the nightclub where they feel free to mingle and a lesbian family who live in fear of their three children being removed by the state because of their own personal sexuality. This is an attempt to understand what it's like to live with forbidden love in modern Russia. 

Mads Nissen. My work focuses on contemporary issues such as overpopulation, poverty, human rights violations and man's often-destructive relationship with nature. Just after I graduated with a degree in photojournalism from the Danish School of Journalism in 2007, I moved to Shanghai to document the human and social consequences of China’s historical economic rise. After two years in China, I returned to Copenhagen, Denmark where I have a contract with the Danish daily Politiken.

Since 2006 I’ve been photographing on my long-term personal project ‘AMAZONAS’, which was published as a book in 2013. My first book De Faldne (The Fallen) about Danes killed in the Afghan war was published in 2010.

I’ve been a participant at the World Press Photo Joop Swart Master class and my work has received several awards from World Press Photo, Picture of the Year among others, as well as the Danish Picture of the Year where it has received 15 prizes including Photographer of the Year and Photo of the Year, both twice.

I am represented by Panos Pictures and by Prospekt Photographers in Italy and LAIF in Germany.