Goodyn Green is a photographer who has recently self-published her first photobook, The Catalog, a collection of female nudes featuring queer women whose poses reference gay men’s magazines. Here she is in Kreuzberg’s The Fab Lab, where her photos are currently on display. A short interview follows, along with some of her work, which is probably NSFW (depending on where you work, that is).
How did you start this project?
I was in Barcelona about 2-and-a-half years ago, looking for inspiration for photography. I came across this gay men’s magazine called Kink, which I really loved. But when I saw the lesbian version that they made, Marikink, I got so provoked by the photography. The photographers were the same as the men’s version — two male gay photographers. It was mostly just women with long hair in the forest, this typical female tenderness that is so often shown when referring to female sexuality. So that made me want to start something similar to Marikink, but for queer women. And specifically on androgynous looking queer women, because those are the ones that turn me on.
Where did you find your subjects?
I shot in different cities. There are four models from Paris, one from London, one in New York, and a couple from Denmark, and friends from Berlin as well.
Did you find there was a difference between Berlin’s queer scene and the other cities you went to?
Berlin is so political — there’s a big focus on not copying these stereotypical gender roles within the queer scene. Even as a homosexual man here, there is a tendency to deny these roles. The Parisian scene is very different from Berlin, for instance. In Paris there’s a big femme scene, and a big butch scene, but they are still playing these roles, albeit exaggerated. To me that’s something that I never fit into.
Why do you think that Berlin has developed such a unique queer scene?
I think it has a lot to do with it being so left-wing oriented. Berlin has a huge anarchist scene which doesn’t exist in other cities anymore. The anarchist scenes are such smaller there, and also less well spread out. In Berlin you even have a specifically queer-anarchist scene, which is independent from the anarchists. So this leads to a bit of a reputation internationally, and you get queer people coming from all over, which makes the it even stronger.
So do you see this as being a lesbian project, or a queer one? Or do the two have to be mutually exclusive?
The word lesbian has been kind of taboo in the queer circles. I’m not afraid of using the word lesbian anymore, but I think mostly I refer to queer women. The difference is that queer women want to expose themselves and show they have a strong sexuality. Some lesbians would be provoked by my photography and find it unappealing. This is the audience that Marikink is speaking to, a more mainstream lesbian audience.
What’s your next project after this?
I have a new project at the moment; People who mainly identify as women, but who are being mistaken as another gender. But The Catalog might continue as an ongoing project. I’m definitely not done with these kind of photos.