Nathan Johnson

Photography, BA (Hons)

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NB. Views and opinions of students in the degree show are their own and do not represent the views of the University.


Since its inception, photography has been perceived as a gateway to the past. The photograph is a powerful tool that evokes memory, knowledge and allows for the discussion of opinion. However, as a photographer I chose to put this power to the test. Could I alter our perception of reality through the narrative of imagery? The Gay Times is a fictional storytelling document, highlighting the discrimination of sexuality in 1970’s Britain, however the power dynamics have been turned. The straights are under attack! Influenced by the short film “Love is all you need” by Kim Rocco Shields, I have constructed a fictional narrative subtly based around the real-life discrimination of homosexuals in the media. Each photograph selected for this project was constructed through editing existing archival and modern imagery. This was to symbolically highlight the fact that queer rights are still an ongoing topic and that whilst this project is based in the past it is also influenced by today’s political climate on gay existence. The purpose of this imagery was to act as evidence into the fictional narrative presented alongside it in the form of media print. In my research I found that newspaper articles from that time used crude language towards the homosexual community. This language is something I also wanted to replicate in my print which plays on existing straight stereotypes common among the gay community. However, this project is a direct response to the modern-day argument surrounding the existence of gay pride and the lack of heterosexual accolade. It is hoped that by stripping the dominant community of their social and political rights and telling their story through the plight of discrimination, this will allow heterosexual viewers to step back and acknowledge their privilege while also allowing open dialogue to be made by both communities.