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'The Space Between Us' by Evan Walsh
Throughout Evan Walsh's early life, the queer 22-year-old photographer felt pressured into being emotionless and therefore resisted making close connections with other men. "Growing up gay, I had to be a chameleon or code-reader, constantly metering when it was safe to become closer with other men," he says in a statement, reflecting on an upbringing inevitably informed by homophobia, both internally and externally. "It made me fearful of connection; it made me feel like I didn't belong to myself."
Now with a healthier outlook on sexuality and male relationships, Walsh has created a photo series, called The Space Between Us, that aims to explore connections between him and his peers. The effort is described as a "collaborative intimate life project," where Walsh asked his closest friends to pose with him for self-portraits in public and private spaces. Throughout the series, groups perform different roles, from gym jocks to hunters and book nerds, in order to examine how these social archetypes intersect with intimacy. "The photos question how far acceptance and love can be granted," Walsh says. "The Space Between Us ultimately seeks to reveal how much the men in my life--and myself especially--are longing for love."
Walsh reiterates the importance of this imagery under Trump's administration, which has allowed our country to regress towards a dangerous place that champions masculinity and fears femininity. With the visible rise of alt-right America, Walsh dreads the potential of a future that looks like our homophobic past, where men have been isolated and intimidated into avoiding male-to-male relationships. "With these photos, I show why becoming closer is important to our collective future for those who identify as men," Walsh says.
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