Kuba Ryniewicz, a Polish-born photographer who resides in Newcastle, has highlighted the importance of local Pride events by paying “homage” to LGBTQ+ people in his city.
The creative, who says his favourite subjects are “people, their communities and relations between individuals,” wanted to photograph various queer Newcastle residents as a result of the “underrepresentation” of the North East in mainstream media “and in photography”.
“I felt the urge to show dignity of the ordinary people of Newcastle who happen to be queers,” Kuba tells GAY TIMES, “dignity as individuals and as a community.”
His aim was to “show the power and strength, as well as vulnerability” of the LGBTQ+ experience throughout the portraits, hoping readers will be “more open within our community and be less London-centric” in the process.
Kuba’s photo series is part of a GAY TIMES and Channel 4 campaign to spotlight local Pride events across the country, titled #ProudAllOver.
There has been a dramatic increase in Pride events this year, with approximately 180 taking place in the UK alone. #ProudAllOver showcases how communities in locations outside of major cities come out and support the Pride movement.
Describing Pride as “freedom of expression without precautions” and a celebration that “encourages” queer people to “come out” and be their authentic selves, Kuba stresses the importance of uplifting all Pride events – not just the events that are publicised in the media.
“There is a very powerful image by Wolfgang Tillmans of a small group of gays holding a sign during Pride in Berlin saying, ‘NICE HERE; but ever been to Kyrgzstan?’” explains Kuba. “Pride as an event shouldn’t have borders and its impact should support queers all over the world.”
Kuba also acknowledges that Pride events, particularly in Western countries, have become “too commercialised” in recent years.
“We need to remember that there are still communities of brothers and sisters in most of the world that cannot express their sexuality or identity,” he continues, “so we need to give space to everyone who needs it.”
See all the beautiful photos from Kuba’s series below, and make sure to visit our hub to keep up with the #ProudAllOver road trip and learn more about the brilliant regional and local Pride events in the UK.