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Aiyana (Cowlitz)


Published onOct 18, 2023
Aiyana (Cowlitz)

Aiyana (Cowlitz)

Photography (2022)

This portrait celebrates my two-spirit friend, Aiyana, her beauty and identity, while surrounded by nature. I’m heavily inspired by the idea of queerness as a process, a way of being, something that isn’t definable but exists as a way of naming oneself outside of systems that were used to oppress our community.

With that in mind, in this portrait I have experimented with techniques that partially obscure the lens, like crystals, a tilt shift lens and other filters that create reflections, light leaks or narrow fields of focus to queer the gaze, changing and obscuring the way that the viewer experiences the subject. The aim of queering the gaze is that it exists outside of the typical photographic gaze that strips subjects down and instead takes the power back into the hands of the subject, so that you as the viewer are seeing only what is chosen to be presented.

Alex Britt (Nansemond/White)

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