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Is oppression the only way to liberation?

How many times have we been imagining our lives without certain constraints that make us feel powerless or constrained? Psychologists and new age spiritual teachers teach how external circumstances can steal our freedom simply by means of us interpreting them against ourselves. However, is everything really a matter of interpretation and can be transcended by the power of the mind? Or is the commonly accepted reality still needs some adjustments?

How many more generations will be scared to be their true selves? What if we are collectively addicted to the idea of struggle and the need to liberate ourselves from the opressor, to the extent that we hesitate to vanquish the traces of the repressive methods of organising life in the first place?

Are we capable of imagining society without the the toxic push and pull of control and escape? At least when it comes to one's looks and spiritual beliefs...Is it the essential cosmological dialectics of freedom-unfreedom that challenges human spirit asking it to fight for one's truth, or is it a self-inflicted pain caused by the human resistance to face our fears, insecurities and prejudices? Probably, the truth is somewhere in between. One thing for certain: there is still an equal amount of work that needs to be done both within each of our minds individually and within the society on the whole.

In that context we are very pleased to present Lokesh Saini and their photographic work on Hypersensium, and finally see them thrive and bloom in their authenticity.

Lokesh is a contemporary London-based artist and model originally from Haryana, India. They confessed that it has been a hard journey towards the embodiment of true self.

What challenges are you facing in your daily life as a queer identifying person?

Growing up as a non-binary queer individual in a toxic hyper-masculine, homophobic and transphobic society, I struggled a lot with my gender expression. It has affected my mental health a lot leading to multiple suicide attempts. This portrait series represents part of my journey embracing my identity as an Indian Hindu Queer individual.

There is a lot of symbolism in your work, what does it stand for?

These self-portrait series are about embracing the different aspects of my identity such as: gender, sexuality, body image, culture, and religion. I use different visual representations of these areas of my identity to show my journey of navigating through the challenges. For example, The blue skin represents the Hindu God Shiva who is referred to as the truest and purest expression of masculinity. Golden colour represents purity & triumph and Shibari visualises the journey of taking control of my masculinity. Flowers that are seen as gentle and feminine, show embracing the feminine part of my gender expression.


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