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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance
Arcus Pride Art 2023 – Amsterdam<br />

Arcus Pride Art 2023 – Amsterdam

Our Virtual Pride celebrations

Clifford Chance Amsterdam and Pride Photo Foundation proudly present the Arcus Pride Art Exhibition 2023. The exhibition is designed to challenge perceptions and provoke thought and conversation through artworks from various photographic disciplines that showcase the fluidity of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. It will run throughout June, July and the beginning of August at Clifford Chance’s Amsterdam office and has been personally curated by Arcus co-chair Chris Verheesen.

United in Pride under one Flag

In the LGBT+ community, we signify our pride with flags.

Ever since its debut and subsequent revision in 1978 and 1979, the iconic Rainbow Flag has become a unifying symbol for LGBT+ pride. The colours of the Rainbow Flag reflect the diversity of the LGBT+ community and the spectrum of sexual orientation and gender and have a specific meaning assigned to them: red stands for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for serenity and violet for spirit.

Although the Rainbow Flag is still the most widely used pride flag to date, several variations of this flag have gained prominence in the LGBT+ community. One of the most popular variations of the Rainbow Flag is the Progress Pride Flag, which was created in 2018. In addition to the colours of the Rainbow Flag, the Progress Pride Flag also features black and brown stripes to portray marginalised LGBT+ people of colour and light blue, pink and white to represent trans and non-binary individuals. These new colours have been arranged in the shape of an arrow to illustrate that progress towards inclusivity still needs to be made in respect of these communities.

In this year's Arcus Pride Art Exhibition, we pay tribute to the Rainbow Flag and the Progress Pride Flag by incorporating the symbolism attributed to the colours of these flags in the curation of our artworks on display, both physically and digitally.

Clara Watt - 26 - Anonymous I

Clara Watt (2023) "The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values: A Protest"

A 21-year-old lesbian member of Ghana’s LGBT+ community is photographed at Accra’s new LGBT+ community space, a year prior to its forced closure by local law enforcement.

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Red represents life and is the colour of the heart, of love and of desire. We have chosen to reflect the symbolism attributed to this colour with a selection of photos that showcase same-sex parentage, trans love and intimacy.

Family time - Vincent Gouriou

Vincent Gouriou (2015) "Family Time"

Anne and Véronique live together as a couple in Brest, France. As France forbade medically assisted reproduction for same-sex couples, Anne and Véronique had to go to Belgium for in vitro fertilisation treatments to realise their dream of becoming a family. After many unsuccessful attempts and as many trips to Brussels, Belgium, twins were finally born from their love: Angèle and Lucien.

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Melanie and her family - Vincent Gouriou

Vincent Gouriou (2016) "Mélanie & Her Family"

Mélanie, transgender, is posing with her boyfriend. She is in the middle of her transition. She is highly supported by her family, her friends and her boyfriend.

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Ksenia Kuleshova (2020) "Ordinary People"

Maxim and Victor take a shower in a rental flat in Minsk, Belarus. Ordinary people, like Maxim and Victor, are just that – they enjoy tender moments, value happiness and the joy of everyday life despite homophobia on the TV, by politicians in the media and by the Belarusian Orthodox Church.

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Orange represents healing and is associated with positive thinking. We have chosen to reflect the symbolism attributed to this colour with a selection of photos that, on the one hand, showcase some of the adversities members of the LGBT+ community had to overcome and on the other hand, depict how people within the LGBT+ community have supported each other with overcoming these adversities.

AliReza Goudarzi - Resistance

Alireza Goudarzi (2023) "Resistance"

Adravan is comforted by his partner after falling victim to a violent, homophobic attack on his way home in Istanbul, Turkey. Adravan sought asylum in Turkey after facing death threats and persecution in his home country Iran, where LGBT+ people are criminalised and consensual sex between same-sex couples can be punishable by death.

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Ilvy Njiokiktjien (2023) "I Don't Want To Be Gay In This Ukraine"

Denys works as a marketing director of a Czech brewery and is a drag queen and Dima works as a candy maker. They lie on their temporary bed in Stargorod restaurant in Lviv, Ukraine. Denys: "I have never had a normal life. In this country I have lived through a revolution, an occupation, a crisis in the 90s and, as an LGBTQI, we receive a lot of discrimination."

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RJ Sangosti - 1 - ClubQ

RJ Sangosti (2023) "ClubQ"

Leie-Jhene cries during a vigil at the All Souls Unitarian Church in Colorado Springs, United States. Leie-Jhene was performing at ClubQ when a 22-year-old white gunman entered the LGBT+ nightclub during a special event celebrating Transgender Day of Remembrance. Wielding an AR-15 style rifle, the gunman killed 5 people and injured 25 others. The gunman was charged with hate crimes, murder and assault.

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Yellow, the Rainbow Flag's radiant and bright centre, represents sunlight and symbolises happiness and warmth. We have chosen to reflect the symbolism attributed to this colour with a selection of photos that showcase heart-warming moments of queer joy in all its beauty.


Bradley Secker (2022) "كتمان / Kütmaan"

Nader puts a ring on Omar’s finger after he accepted Nader's marriage proposal during his birthday party in Istanbul, Turkey. Nader and Omar are both from Syria and met each other in Istanbul, Turkey before finally being reunited again in Bergen, Norway, where they were both granted political asylum.

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Ksenia Kuleshova (2020) "Ordinary People"

Maria and Anastasia are brushing their teeth in Maria’s flat in Saint Petersburg, Russia. They have been together for 7 months and plan on living together soon. Maria is from Saint Petersburg, Russia and is a photographer. Anastasia is from Saratov, Russia. She is a choreographer, dancer and actress.

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Watsamon Tri-Yasakda (2022) "7465"

Hundreds have joined the first Pride Festival in Yangon, Myanmar even though LGBT+ people are subject to persecution and discrimination in Myanmar. For Watsamon, it was a happy moment to see the Queer Yangon community be happy and comfortable in its own city.

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Green represents nature and is commonly associated with growth and development. One of the most recent positive developments is the growing appeal of drag. Drag showcases the fluidity of sexuality and gender and has become a beacon of progress for many in the LGBT+ community. We have chosen to reflect the symbolism attributed to this colour with a selection of photos that pay tribute to drag as a form of self-expression and progress.

Robin Yong - Havana Queen Story

Robin Yong (2023) "Havana Queen Story"

A portrait of drag queen Salma before her evening show in Havana, Cuba. Just a few years ago, Cuba would have never allowed LGBT+-friendly acts in public, such as drag show performances. However, attitudes towards and acceptance of LGBT+ people in Cuba have improved over the past years and drag queens once again draw huge crowds.

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Lee-Ann Olwage (2020) "#BlackDragMagic"

The team of #BlackDragMagic poses at a taxi stand in Khayelitsha, South Africa. Taxi stands in South Africa are often considered to be a hub of homophobia and a space where members of the LGBT+ community are subjected to harassment, violence and discrimination. With this portrait, the team intends to send a clear message that public and communal spaces need to be safe spaces for members of the LGBT+ community.

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Blue represents serenity and symbolises peace. The core of (inner) peace is (self-)acceptance. We have chosen to reflect the symbolism attributed to this colour with a selection of photos that illustrate the path to (self-)acceptance and true happiness within the LGBT+ community.


Sumi Anjuman (2020) "Somewhere Else Than Here"

This photo visualises the passage of transitioning of an individual who explores his love, hope and fantasy, fanatical anxiety, homophobic isolation and his struggle to be perceived as who he is: human.

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Delovie Kwagala (2020) "The Quingdom Project"

In a country that suppresses any form of queer expression and has high penalties for homosexuality, Treyvonne dares to live authentically. Treyvonne: "I’m very proud of who I am, I am not ashamed of me and I am going to be loud about it. Sorry not sorry, because I know what it is like to live by others’ comfort but yours. Been there done that and I kid you not, it's hell. (…) This is why I create platforms for others like me to help ease the mental health issues that those like us encounter every day."

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8 - Erick - Dead family by Le Veneque

Andrés Gregorio Pérez (2023) "Dead Family"

When non-binary photographer Andrés browsed their family albums, they realised that they did not see their true selves in these albums. Instead, they saw a representation of imposed expectations from their biological family. Demonstrating the importance of inclusion and identity in historical archiving, Andrés invited, amongst others, Erick (depicted), a Venezuelan queer gay man, to imagine how an inclusive memory, reflecting his true identity, would look like to him.

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Purple represents spirit and is the colour of power and of dignity. Pride in its current form would not have been possible without the necessary protests for tolerance and emancipation. We have chosen to reflect the symbolism attributed to this colour with a selection of photos that show the LGBT+ community's unwavering pursuit of equality and non-discrimination.


Bradley Secker (2022) "كتمان / Kütmaan"

Members of the "Tea & Talk" LGBT+ activist group hold protest signs during the banned Istanbul Pride in 2015. The protest signs read "I am Arab and I am gay" and "We are here, get used to it".

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PhotoPaul (2022) ""I am not an Ideology" LGBTQ+ Poland"

Since the PiS party became the sole governing body in Poland, several anti-LGBT+ laws have been implemented. In 2019, for example, approximately 30 different municipalities and districts in Poland were declared "LGBT+ ideology-free zones". PhotoPaul portrays members of the LGBT+ community as normal people, rather than as an ideology. One of PhotoPaul's portraits depicts Przemek surrounded by numerous protest signs.

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Light blue, pink and white represent trans and non-binary individuals within the LGBT+ community. We have chosen to reflect the symbolism attributed to these colours with a selection of photos that, on the one hand, showcase the exclusion and oppression of trans and non-binary individuals in society and on the other hand, depict the courage and resilience of the trans and non-binary community.

A light inside - Danielle Villasana

Danielle Villasana (2015) "A Light Inside"

Transgender women are extremely marginalised by Peruvian society. Persecution begins early, causing them to abandon their studies and families. With few options or support, many turn to prostitution. Though prostitution in Peru is not illegal, many transwomen are frequently arrested in police raids. After trying to run away, Kiara is detained by police officers, who will take her to a police station for questioning.

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Ella (she) - Marika Puicha

Marika Puicha (2015) "Ella (She)"

When Eli (depicted) was only two years old, her parents realised that her biological sex did not match with her gender identity. At first, her parents were concerned about her behaviour, but finally they understood that the most important thing was for their child to be happy and free to be what she desired. This photo shows a happy Eli at the age of 10 together with Angela, who is also transgender.

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Luiz Maximiano (2022) "Bruna"

Bruna, a 21-year-old transgender woman, was attacked by three men in São Carlos, Brazil. She was stabbed with a kitchen knife and got her ear and hair cut off while the attackers shouted "die, fag!".

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Black and brown represent queer people of colour within the LGBT+ community. We have chosen to reflect the symbolism attributed to these colours with a selection of photos that show the increasing oppression and unique challenges of queer people of colour due to the intersection of their cultural and queer identities.


Adrien Selbert (2023) "La Creole"

For the past 4 years, the most eye-catching queer parties in Paris, France have been organised by a collective of personalities, sexualities and gender identities in a Caribbean carnivalesque spirit who are referred to as La Creole. La Creole reminds France of the diversity of its children. It offers a sense of freedom for a generation of LGBT+ people who descend from families who emigrated from the former French colonies and who are not always accepted for who they are. La Creole offers a safe space where these young people can dance and enjoy themselves.

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Haneem Christian (2022) "The Lovers"

"These are just two people who share a God-given love for each other" Haneem explains. In various (orthodox) religious communities, gay love is a taboo. Within some religious movements, it is even rejected and punished. Many homosexual believers experience little room to express themselves freely and to enjoy their love.

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Trashy Clothing x Mykali SS20

Omar Braika (2022) "Ignorance is the enemy"

LGBT+ people from Arab countries often feel doubly demonised: in the Western world as Arabs, and in their own community as queer. With this photo, Omar aims to present a more comprehensive picture of both.

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About Arcus

Arcus is our global inclusive employee network open to all Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans*, Intersex, Queer people and their Allies​​​. Arcus aims to encourage an inclusive and integrated culture within Clifford Chance that gives colleagues the choice to be open and out.

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Arcus archives

Explore some of our previous exhibitions to see how Arcus Pride Art has evolved in recent years.

Visit the archives