Imaging change


The last couple of months have been full of changes.

TQU’s photo competition IMAGING CHANGE invited participants to reflect upon the changes and to present them in a photo or a short photo series.

Futures – Utopia/Dystopia
Present – Inside/Outside


Present: Inside

Ally Zlatar and Agnee ⬆︎

Glasgow, UK

“Exploring the current situation through a unique take on what the present means.”

Anna Maria Staiano, 52 ⬇︎

Valencia, Spain

“Rummaging in my wardrobe for a “new normality” look.”

Céline, 37 ⬆︎

Johnstone,  Renfrewshire,  Scotland 

“Bringing my summer clothing out of the suitcase in the attic. Spoiler alert; the clothing stayed in the suitcase on the floor for over two weeks. Almost a month later and the suitcase (now filled with winter clothes) still hasn’t made it back into the attic.”

Ana Antonova, 31 ⬇︎


“The world is changing and I like to think that we can make these changes positive ones. But I am stuck in the hell of my own failed dreams.”

Valentina Sandoval, 22 ⬆︎

Czech Republic, Praha

“The world is crashing but friendship is resistance. 1am at our flatshare in Prague, aka home.”

Jakub Ra ⬇︎

Paris and Prague

“A collection of self-portraits that, through spiritual optics, testify to my process of changing my identity. It shows a personal process and a certain art therapy, thanks to which I accept and discover a new identity of my body and the setting of my mind. My generation has endless possibilities to design their avatars in the cyberspace or social media. From an early age, when I played computer games, I identified with a playing character. I have always liked to choose female characters who for me symbolized my other side, which I do not have the opportunity to express in the real world. It wasn’t until a few years later that I began to work on this relationship of my fluid identity and became more interested in the subject. Thus, my self-portraits capture the process of transformation when something indeterminate metamorphoses from my masculine body, something that is on the verge of indefinability, something where it is comfortable for me to stay. Tattoos, yoga, diet, meditation, nutritional supplements are a medium for me to shape my body and question my identity. This file is very fresh for me and I definitely plan to continue and develop it in the future.”

Present: Outside

Kaizer Usher, 22 ⬇︎

Bronx, New York

“I have passed this community center countless times growing up in the north Bronx. Today, although it sits empty, it encapsulates promise. “Maybe reconstruction is amongst us all.”

Chroma, 33 ⬇︎

Assam, India

“On 8th June, 2020 an oil explosion turned the area around Baghjan village and surrounding villages into a wasteland, causing unprecedented damage to farms and tea estates. The oil spill also entered the famous Dibru-Saikhowa biosphere reserve, killing several birds, animals and fishes. The explosion has been burning since then and can be seen for miles. This view was taken from the roof of my house. At night the sky looks orange and a strange hissing sound can be heard for miles, even though we are far from the site of oil explosion.”

Meg_trian ⬆︎


“My photo represent art. The photo was taken in kenya on 30/06/2020. Covid 19 has changed lives in kenya and around the world, as an LGBT member living in kenya, I have faced challenges like not being able to go out, socialize and express my artistic side. The only place that has been my safe haven is home with my family and the good part about this pandemic is being able to bound with family and spend more time with my family.”

David Abramov ⬇︎

Böhmische Straße, Berlin

“Tree VS. Fence / Life VS. Border – Present in a change. Present always changes, but when it changes fast and rapidly as in the last months, the intensivity arouses feelings of awareness. This tree is my teacher.”

Atypical Lens, 36 ⬆︎

The attached photograph was taken in Mitte part of Berlin and captures the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas).

“The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Empty, peaceful, strikingly melancholic and finally free of people walking all over it. Thought provoking and deeply emotional sight. How it should always be.”

Martyna Gart ⬇︎

Warsaw, Poland

“Global pandemic showed that some governments are really on their way towards dictatorship, using virus as an excuse to restrain civil rights. Banning public gatherings from one side and accepting catholic masses from the other. In the same time Queer people are attacked both in Hungary and Poland, in the latter called “LGBT ideology” and a plague. The real plague is a plague of hatred, queerphobia, sexism and racism. The photo shows me in a mask near one of the many crosses found everywhere, evident sign what is acceptable and “normal”, and what not.”

LB, 39 ⬇︎

Johnstone, Renfrewshire, Scotland

“Photos of a march kneeling in an intersection for 8 minutes to honor George Floyd. It was three minutes until curfew and police had boxed all protesters in.”

JJ, 24 ⬆︎

Rummelsburger Bucht, Berlin

“Although queer communities seemed to be very creative during Corona organising online drag shows, readings of the latest literature about controversial discourses or online demonstrations there was one thing I missed a lot: seeing my friends in real life! When the restrictions got a bit more loose I could finally see some of them again. In this picture we met on a bench taking care to wear our masks and keep some distance between each other. It was good to be able to have someone in front of you, but the urge to hug my friends was so huge! I felt so close but still so far away!”

Céline, 37 ⬇︎

Johnstone, Renfrewshire, Scotland

“Finding Beauty close to Home.”

Futures: Utopia

Graham Bell Tornado, 54 ⬆︎


“The meeting of animal and human worlds: an exchange of glamour.”

Céline, 37 ⬆︎

Johnstone, Renfrewshire, Scotland

“Nature reclaiming space.”

Chris Bauer ⬇︎

“Tippen Sie hier um die Zukunft zu ändern / Click here to change the future”

Futures: Dystopia

Dylan, 24 ⬆︎

This was taken at my research institute in Kendall Sq, Cambridge MA.

“I took this self portrait at the height of the pandemic. I’m a research scientist working on HIV, and the pandemic significantly influenced how I did my job. I could no longer be at work with my coworkers – we now worked in a shift style with only one person allowed in per day. It made going to work a lot lonelier and gave a strange feeling of post-apocalyptic emptiness on my way to and from work, because our city was largely shut down, and in an institute that used to be so filled with people and energy. While this photo was taken inside my place of work, and represented the present state of affairs, It felt and feels dystopian to me – even though the photo doesn’t seem to reflect that. This was taken in a room that is normally hard to find working space in, but now it feels like solitary confinement. Working alone in a room, with a mask on, is the new way that work is going to be conducted in the future.”

Ally Zlatar and Agnee ⬆︎


“This work explores dystopia in the sense, of the environment and humanity declining. As the Earth’s resources dwindle the downfall may occur.”

Chroma, 33 ⬅︎

Assam, India

“I had installed the Air Quality app on my phone. I noticed that sometimes it would report the pollution in my town. At that time, I wondered if I could get to put on a mask on me one day… Now, owing to Coronavirus pandemic scare, I m forced to put it on my face everytime I go out of my house. I wonder if it is an indication of the dark times to come….”

Dat Nguyen, 29 ⬇︎

An apartment complex building in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

“The future is empty. Each of us are preoccupied with becoming gods that remnants of our past seem to echo into the void about what we used to be – free. We were full and whole, and now we’re haunted in emptiness.”

Marval A Rex, 28 ⬇︎

Los Angeles, Oslo (Norway), Salt Lake City, Utah

“These images are all self-portraits that span over 4 years, since I began transitioning my gender. They are imbued with ideas of inside/outside or public/private as well as dystopia, ie. they fit in all the competition’s categories. They function as a multiplicity, not unlike me. I chose the category of dystopia precisely because there is an element of obvious or implicit pain in these images. This is the pain of transitioning in a world that up until now, did not desire to understand or make room for the trans experience. I should have though, more truthfully, chosen the category of Utopia. Because, however dismal the world may look, I smell an undercurrent of utopia, of expanding light– precisely because the ontological frameworks or the “reality tunnels” of the whole world are collapsing, shifting and changing in 2020, a seminal year. With the breakdown of an unsustainable system of racism, heterocentrism and capitalism, we will see the building up of a new structures that will be better equipped to make room for and embrace ALL of humanity’s experiences. There is pain, and its gift is that the mask comes off. A new future world is waiting for us to build it, now, in this present moment.”


1st place: Ana Antonova

2nd place: Dat Nguyen

3rd place: Meg_Trian

I had such a hard time deciding. Thank you so much to everyone who participated for submitting your photos and sharing your views and images.


Audience Prize:

Voting for the audience prize closed Monday night, July 13th, 2020.

1st place: Graham Bell Tornado (10 votes)

2nd place: Anna Maria Staiano and Chroma [Outside] (8 votes each)

The winner of the audience prize will receive a TQU goodie bag plus a €10 shopping voucher from Other Nature as well as this vibrator, which is also kindly donated by Other Nature.

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