Mohit Tiwari’s Photography Nurtures Gender Fluidity and Destroys Stereotypes

Mohit Tiwari’s Photography Nurtures Gender Fluidity and Destroys Stereotypes
Mohit Tiwari

Demystifying queer and sex-radical photography holds a new unique place in our contemporary worlds. The process of deconstructing and consuming non-binary portrayals of gender in photography opens up space for a variety of expressionistic art and a sense of true comfort in the notion of expressing itself. The Digital Photography Review informs, “Seemingly apolitical, emotional, and even perhaps nihilist, Abstract Expressionism was a sharp break from the often explicitly political and realistic Photographic Modernism and Social Realism art movements of the 1930s.”

Mohit Tiwari’s photographs sharply translate into representations of gender fluidity and expressionism. Breaking away from conventional modes of depiction, realistic art and stereotypes, Mohit’s photographs exude a tender softness. Within the backdrop of a natural texturised and dimensional frame, an inherent exploration of queer love is also seen.

Upon mentioning what his photos symbolise, Mohit quips, “My photographs are reflections of my feelings, experiences, and most dreams. The majority of my pictures take inspiration from my dreams and my theoretical understanding of expressionism. I try to narrate my story and sense of melancholia, loneliness, and belongingness. The idea behind these photographs is to normalise homosexuality in this heteronormative society through the stories that I’m trying to tell through my photographs.” Mohit touches on two extremely important points. The need for art as a cathartic tool and a necessity to embrace the dire requisite for inclusive stories or narratives in our societies. We need to see what we, in our heart of hearts believe and want for it to become a reality.

Anja Matthes’s photographs in The Atlantic’s piece ‘Kiki Ballroom Scene, Queer Kids of Color Can Be Themselves’, highlights the utter joy of feeling in-sync with a community and your chosen family. Similarly, Mohit Tiwari’s photographs bring out strands of private inertia, of being comfortable and accepted within the bounds of a loving environment with another singular individual.

When speaking about his inspiration, Mohit says, “I spoke to a few people from the community, felt the diversity within the community and the ironical stereotypes that surround it. Every gay man is thought of as feminine and every lesbian is apparently, masculine. Not everyone likes to be labelled either, but society doesn’t hesitate before doing that for them. This is what I really try to tell through my pictures.” Highlighting a much-needed break away from definitions and categorisations and towards embracing fluid existence, Mohit’s photographs land far away from the binary.

In knowing how to be a good ally to the queer community and supporting those who are vulnerable, Mohit says, “Be good listeners, don’t judge the other person for not being like you, leave your judgments and stereotypes behind. Unlearn all the stereotypes and preconceived notions about the community that has been fed into our brains by society and media. Understand consent, someone’s coming out story is for them to share, if they trust you with it, value their trust. Understand the range that comes under LGBTQ+ and doesn’t expect people to educate you about their sexuality or simplify their identity for you to understand. Learn the difference between sex and gender. Respect their pronouns and always ask and address people with their pronouns.”

Mohit’s vivid expressionism is wonderfully displayed in all his pictures, particularly the two above. Our ideas of being feminine, masculine, and what is deemed as ‘love’ are all contested. A queer-inclusive society embraces the spectrum of identities that exist within and outside of it. Mohit’s photography portrays this spectrum brilliantly.

You can find more of Mohit’s photography on his Instagram.

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