I was actually on leave, but I went anyway to listen to photojournalist Mads Nissen when he came to visit Stockholm in November 2015.
World Press Photo 2014 had an exhibit at Liljeholmstorget Galleria. All the pictures included in the contest were shown in the mall.
Prior to the opening of the exhibit, I went to a press conference where the winner Mads Nissen from Denmark talked about his picture – a gay couple, Jon and Alex from St Petersburg, Russia – in an intimate moment.
It’s a beautiful picture, nothing pornographic nor errotic. But intimate, showing two men in love. And as we all know, Russia has an anti-gay law from 2013. The law’s purpose is to protect children from being exposed to content exposing homosexuality.
According to Wiki: “Businesses and organizations can be forced to temporarily cease operations if convicted under the law, and foreigners may be arrested and detained for up to 15 days then deported, or fined up to 5,000 rubles and deported.” It did not criminalize same-sex relationships, sexual activity, or being associated with pro-LGBT organizations. But the law increased and justified homophobic violence, as Mads Nissen himself said. He saw with his own eyes how friends got beaten up by homophobes.