From Sept 10th until Sept 20th Misha Friedman will be exhibiting his acclaimed photographic work entitled “Iron Curtain”. IT is a powerful display documenting how Russian LGBT youth live in a country that vilifies homosexuality.
The exhibition will be held in Brooklyn Bridge Park and is called “Photoville”. More info: photoville.com/2015-exhibitions/iron-closet/
When did you first enter the United States?
I got to the United Stated in the early 90’s
And you come from Russia?
I was born in Moldova
And you’ve done a photographic study of LGBT youth in Russia?
I do a lot of things but this is one of the studies there.
Is this what is going to be on display in Brooklyn?
What inspired you to become interested in taking these photographs behind the Iron Curtain?
I have some background in public health and working with vulnerable groups, so that became news in that part of the world I decided to look into that as a vulnerable group. I am not an activist photographer. I focused on the LGBT Russian group as a vulnerable group. I decided to find out more. The display will be several studies from the few years that I spent following different people.
What do you hope to accomplish through this display?
The most important thing is when people are done looking at pictures and reading the studies behind them, the issue of persecution about someone’s gender …. Just because it is not in the news anymore (and it’s not) doesn’t mean that it’s over. In fact 3 of the people that are in the pictures on the display had to leave the country since and are not seeking asylum. There will be some information in the display about what people could do here. The answer to that question is there are some small groups here in NY and the best thing someone could do is contact them after seeing this exhibition. These groups provide assistance to those seeking asylum. This is more than just raising awareness because that sounds like preaching to the choir. Not all of them are about giving money, sometimes it is you finding time, or providing some expertise or little things that are very useful to people that come over. What I wanted to do is connect those who are interested to those who are professionals. Sometimes it is just as simple as meeting someone for coffee. Sometimes it is as simple as explaining what asylum is. These questions are hard enough to understand if you live here and are even more impossible to understand if you’ve just arrived and do not speak English.
Are you a full time photographer?
Yes, it is my job
What other type of photography do you specialize in?
I do pictorial work, it is all on my website www.mishafriedman.com. I work with newspapers and magazines.