On the fourth floor of the Central Library at the Spui you will find up to 070 June the photo exhibition Queer Migrations: Portraits from The Hague. These are nine portraits of people from the LGBTIQ+ community who have moved to The Hague. We talked about it with photographer Zanyar Aziz and with Marnix who is on one of the portraits.

The photo exhibition is an initiative of the LGBTQ Humans of Amsterdam foundation. With this, the foundation wants to give attention to people from the LGBTIQ+ community who migrate to The Hague. For this they were looking for a photographer who knows this theme inside out. “This topic is perfect for me,” says Zanyar. “My parents fled from Iraq to the Netherlands and I am queer myself.”

“When I started this assignment, I first had to look for people to portray. I was looking for people from diverse cultural backgrounds and from the different letters of the LGBTIQ+ community. To this end, I made an appeal on social media and contacted LGBTIQ+ organizations in The Hague. That’s how I found Marnix.”

The story of Marnix

“Zanyar asked me if I wanted to share the call in our app group, but it suits me so well that I also reported myself,” says Marnix. “I was born in Colombia, but adopted as a child together with my two brothers by a Catholic family in the Netherlands. In recent years I have been looking for my roots. As a result, I discovered that I also had to deal with a lot of prejudice at home. For example, I tan quickly in the summer. Then my adoptive mother said: nice tan, smear that on me too.”

“Furthermore, as a child I was never allowed to be who I was”, Marnix continues. “I was not allowed to play football and I had to be a girly girl with dresses on. I have been in transition to a man for a year and a half and have broken off contact with my adoptive parents. I don’t even want to use the last name I got from them anymore. My two brothers are now my family here.”

Read more after the photo >

The portrait of Marnix Foto : Zanyar Aziz

Important places and moments

As with Marnix, Zanyar tries to tell a story with every portrait in the photo exhibition. “I started as a photographer during the corona pandemic,” says Zanyar. “Besides writing, it is a way for me to tell stories. I don’t photograph people in a studio but outside, because the environment gives context to a photo. I also first talk to someone to get to know them.”

“I did that for this series of photos,” explains Zanyar. “I wanted to photograph people in places or moments that are important to them. For example, I photographed one of the sitter, Kick, at his birthday party where he announced his new name. I photographed Marnix at the Hang-Out 600. This is an organization for people from the LGBTIQ+ community with a bi-cultural background.”

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In front of the camera

“ The people in the Hang-Out are my chosen family”, Marnix adds. “It was very special to be photographed there. I film a lot myself, so I prefer to be behind the camera. But, Zanyar is a very fine photographer. It is special to have such a good picture of this moment in my life and my transition. I think it’s an exciting idea that that photo is now hanging in the library, but it’s also great that I can give visibility to people like me with this.”


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