In 2003 when Lius Ben was subject to a vicious homophobic attack in a London street, he thought he might die. He remembers offering what he thought was his final prayer to the angels.
When his friend, photographer Damien Frost suggested returning to the scene for a shoot, Lius was able to take stock of his journey since and how he now feels about the violence he suffered. The result, Orange File will form part of Damien’s forthcoming exhibition in Russia this autumn.
. . . the perfect message for London’s Pride Weekend
We felt that these images communicate the perfect message for Pride; an eloquent riposte to those ‘straight-pride’ hucksters, who have been seeking to minimise the importance of LGBTQ Pride; the importance of marking our presence, unequivocally, unapologetically. In a world, in a city in which difference is seen by some as a threat to be feared, subjugated and punished, Orange File reminds us that we are more than victims; subjects to be defined by our relationship to a supposed, restrictive norm. Instead, Orange File captures the triumph of love over hatred and fear.
Instead, Orange File captures the triumph of love over hatred and fear.
Orange because that was the colour of the dress that he was designing on the day of the attack. Orange; as it became the chosen apparel he imagined for guardian angel he believes answered his desperate prayers as he lay fighting for breath on the street, and as he stumbled to the phone box to call for help. Orange too to signify the lack of urgency his case seemed to create in the criminal justice system;
I have always felt that most homophobic violence cases are put in a file not-red-enough, something like an orange file; there but never being given anyone’s full attention
Orange File – Damien Frost, model Lius Ben