Five Bells

Being LGBT in Australia

Intimate and memorable vignettes of the LGBTI community in and around Sydney, Australia, from an award-winning photographer

“These poetic and deeply personal portraits tell the stories of people in the LGBT community in their many interconnecting roles: as sons and daughters and mothers and lovers, as musicians and artists and workers, as people alone yet part of the human family.” —from the introduction by Fiona Skyring

In a country known as one of the most queer-friendly nations in the world, federal laws protect queer people from discrimination, transgender Australians are recognized legally as their preferred gender, and the renown of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival has reached far across its borders.

The eight visual narratives that make up award-winning Australian photographer Jenny Papalexandris’s intimate and thematically rich Five Bells offer a celebration of queer life, giving the world a visual portrait of everyday life among queer-identifying people, from joyful images of weddings and family gatherings to more contemplative portraits of rural youth and asylum seekers. In so doing, the book presents a series of neither caricatures nor stereotypes but of individuals—active agents in the universal quest for happiness, intimacy, respect, and a sense of belonging. This is the human face of the queer community in Australia, and these beautifully crafted photographs, in black-and-white and in color, show us the personal and psychological landscape of what it means to be part of a community that is as vibrant as it is diverse.

Five Bells was designed by Emerson, Wajdowicz Studios (EWS).

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