Alternative portraits

Alternative portraits

A collection of photographs of transsexuals could take out the 2007 Head On photographic awards in Sydney this week. Head On is one of Australia’s major portrait exhibitions and Tom Williams, photojournalist and front-runner of this year’s competition, told Sydney Star Observer this year’s contest features a diverse range of competitors.

There not many opportunities in Sydney to exhibition photographs at the moment. This is a good opportunity to show off a unique style of pictures, he said.

Williams travelled to Guatemala City last year in order to pursue his collection of work.

I was doing a story on transgender prostitutes who work on the streets. About 40 percent of them are refugees from other Central American countries, he said.

Guatemalan-based NGO OASIS, has recorded over 67 human rights abuses ranging from bashing and mutilation to murder, so many transsexuals are going underground.

Many villages in the region are very macho and a lot of people have to leave their villages because gay people are not accepted, Williams said.There are over two hundred workers on the streets. It’s extremely dangerous and a majority of the deaths are generally by the police.

See for more on Head On (20 April-26 May).

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