Ripped, Reassembled Photos of Closeted Gay Men in Ukraine
All photos by Anton Shebetko

Ripped, Reassembled Photos of Closeted Gay Men in Ukraine

Kiev-based photographer Anton Shebetko destroys and reconstructs his photographs to obscure the faces of his subjects.

Anton Shebetko, a photographer based in Kiev, Ukraine, creates photos and collages in response to the secrecy surrounding sexuality in his home country. Although homosexuality is not a crime, LGBTQ people still do not receive equal protection under the law. Shebetko says that many feel like they're in a "gray zone," and avoid advertising their preferences, sometimes even openly using homophobic rhetoric as a distraction.


Shebetko's current project consists of several dozen portraits, either destroyed or compromised to obscure the faces of their subjects: Ukrainian men who hide their homosexuality from their colleagues, family, and friends. Where portraits can reveal personality and character, their destruction becomes a symbolic act, representative of an ongoing struggle.

See more on Anton Shebetko's website.