These Photos Honour the Bond Between Mothers and Their Queer Children

A new exhibition by South Auckland arts collective COVEN adds a non-binary voice to the national conversation around suffrage.

Honey, the 19-year-old member of South Auckland arts collective COVEN, just wanted to "show off our mums. They're the shit!" The resulting photo essay, which examines not only that maternal relationship but also how that "divine feminine energy" flows through generations, is a tour of a South Auckland not often seen in the media: warm, loving, personal, nurturing. “It was honestly just a lot about looking at the different generations of feminine energy that we’ve been brought up with, through our mothers. As queer people, they’re like the main voice that we’re going to get in terms of femininity.”

It made sense to document those relationships in the South Auckland homes where they’ve flourished, both for a sense of authenticity, but also because those homes are a haven for Honey's community. “When you go out on the street [as a queer person], you don’t know who is going to be with you and against you and it’s important to have places like our homes and our families, especially as marginalised people, that we just know are safe. It’s a constant flow of support and it’s just a safe space and it’s a necessary safe space for queer people.”

The exhibition as a whole—opening tomorrow at the Mangere Arts Centre and running for a month—includes photography, video work and performance, including a Halloween vogue ball. Honey hopes the exhibition will expand the conversation around suffrage, adding a queer perspective. “I think it should be about femmes, like this feminine energy—divine feminine energy. And queer people have that, and it’s not something that can be denied based on gender, and it shouldn’t be something denied based on gender.”


LGBT+, Photos, mothers, NEW ZEALAND, VOGUE, LGBQT, South Auckland

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