Capturing Trans Experience of Violence, Belonging and Identity Through Photo voice as Narrative for Resistance

Description: TRANS Woman, making up to enhance her beauty. Photo: Courtesy of LGBT activist-KAKA. Maputo-Mozambique- June 2020.

The project has the most significant collection of photographs, which represents the life of TRANS women, in Maputo city. Developed between researchers from the Open University (Uk), Bloco 4 Foundation-Research in activism, citizenship and social policies-and TRANSFORMAR activists in Mozambique, it explores, through the voice of photographs, possible narratives of resistance, capturing the experiences of TRANS women living on the urban margins of Maputo, the meanings that give to violence, belonging and identity. In this sense, in terms of the initiative’s participants, they seek to describe through the visual, “their condition of life and utopias”, in a context marked by discrimination, stigmatization and intolerance, as an entry point for understanding discourses and practices, about how people inside and outside the LGBT community, are empathetic or not, when taking different initiatives of expression in public, of their gender identities and sexual orientation. Each image in this online photographic collection translates meanings of belonging to the experiences and fields of possibilities of TRANS women, who will never again be shelved, as before in Mozambique. this invites us to reflect on the part of a cosmos that expresses, categories that are a gateway to the utilitarian meaning of human existence, the relationships with materials and people, extremely important as a vehicle of communication in a conservative society that denies the possibility to accept differences and freedom of choice.

This collection consists on a set of 14 photographs taken by TRANS women, in which, when dialoguing with their “self”, they simultaneously do it with the “other”, as a deliberate strategy to ensure that the experiences around their daily lives are continuously registered. The problems that are possibly associated with the interpretation of the image, under the pretext of contradictions, express the complex relationships of a restrictive system, translating the idea that everyone is equally visible. But not. They live in front of broken mirrors that sectorize images, dissident and marginal parts of bodies, which are some forms of criminalized and censored confrontations, surviving in subjectively autonomous and temporal contexts or in places of discussion or concrete speech, as far as concerns to territories for the emancipation of the LGBT community in Mozambique.

Part of the project’s collection that can be found here online, it becomes, from now on, an entry point, to invite potential volunteers to help us spread the word about this initiative. At first, promoting civic engagement that translates into political influence that shapes social justice agendas and contributes to a fairer and more representative society. In a second moment, getting in contact to share your experiences of affections and constraints, sending photographic files or short thematic videos by email: [email protected]

NOTE: terms and conditions apply based on the consent term observed between the interested parties.

Craig Walker


Tirso Sitoe

Bloco 4 Foundation – Research in activism, citizenship and public policies. E-mail

Francisco Mbendzane

Bloco 4 Foundation – Research in activism, citizenship and public policies

Alfiado Biosse

Bloco 4 Foundation – Research in activism, citizenship and public policies

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