Robin Hammond@hammond_robin

Photographer, Co-founder Witness Change, Human Rights Activist, Supports LGBT rights, No Health Without Mental Health, Love animals so I don't eat em!

http://www.onedayinmyworld.com/

Photo @Hammond_Robin / @noorimages for @WhereLoveIsIllegal // “I thought I was going to die - I lost all hope,” says Jennifer, a #transgender woman from #Mozambique, recalling the illness that nearly killed her just six months earlier.
Emergency hospital care brought her back from the brink of death, but it did not cure her.
Jennifer started selling sex after she lost her job and couldn’t get another. She knew there was a risk of contracting HIV, so was not completely surprised when she tested positive. Shame kept her from telling anyone. Fear, of being found out, kept her from going to the clinic for medication. Her brush with death dramatically reshaped her perception of the illness. Despite the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS in her country, she has become open about her positive status using it as a platform to encourage other LGBTQI+ community members to practice safer sex and get tested. // In Mozambique more than a third of gay men and transgender women have HIV, but, because of stigma, many don’t have access to care. New hope comes in the form of a program that will test thousands for HIV, as well as train LGBTQI+ people to test their peers confidentially and in their own homes. // This work along with stories from Kenya, Mozambique and Ghana are currently being shared at #AIDS2018, the 22nd International @aids_conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands with the support of Elton John AIDS Foundation (@ejaf @ejafdn) who help continue our work sharing LGBTQ+ stories of survival and to raise awareness of the impacts of stigma. Around the world, grants made by the Elton John AIDS Foundation make possible the work of countless community-rooted organizations that touch the lives of millions every day. For more information, and to join the fight, visit www.ejaf.org // Read Jennifer’s story and see how to share your own experience of #survival and #discrimination and see how you can support by going to www.whereloveisillegal.com. This is a @witness_changeproject. For more stories of survival follow @WhereLoveIsIllegal


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#Repost @eltonjohn
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I met Robin Hammond during #AIDS2018, whose amazing photos of @ejaf #LGBT beneficiaries recently ran in @nytimes and showed that we still live with such stigma towards HIV. We must end this shame and replace it with compassion and support. #photography #love #amsterdam @davidfurnish @hammond_robin (photo by Michael Kovac/Getty)


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Photo by @hammond_robin for @onedayinmyworld
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"The Syrian people have seen everything, they killed their brother, their mother, their father - and so, now mental health problems have become normal," says Ali Mohammed Hassan, 25. “I might be safe, but I’m always thinking about my brother who I left in Syria. I’m worried about them." Ali and other young men from Deir Ez-Zor Syria hide from the afternoon sun in the informal extension of Moria camp known as Olive Grove. They have been at the camp between two and six months. They all left Syria they say because to stay would mean to be forced to fight either for the government or ISIS.
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The Island of Lesbos, Greece: Moria camp overflows with refugees and their desperation. Inhuman living conditions and a snail-paced relocation process can drive the already traumatized towards depression and suicide - mental health issues that haunt a people with no home. They risked their lives to get to Europe. They thought they had escaped the trauma & would find peace, a future. They were wrong.
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#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. This work was made in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières @doctorswithoutborders who are providing mental health support to the island’s refugees. To see more or to share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld


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Photo @Hammond_Robin for @Whereloveisillegal
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“It was the year 2013 1st April, when I met Lucky at the birthday party of a friend of mine. When I looked at him, I liked him, and he had all the qualities that I wanted for someone to love.” John (right), a gay man, and Lucky (left) a transgender woman, met and fell in love in their native Uganda. They were living together when John’s family discovered their relationship. His family tries to kill them says John. They fled to Kenya where they now live as refugees. “When they attacked him, he managed to escape. He ran away, and then, he told me, ‘Don’t come back home, because even me have left home, cause your parents went there to kill me. They realized that we are gays.’”
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Many LGBTQI+ east Africans have sought safety in Kenya. They often find though that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia is just as prevalent as the country they are fleeing.
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Where Love is Illegal traveled to Kenya, Mozambique and Ghana with the support of Elton John AIDS Foundation (@ejaf @ejafdn) to continue our work sharing LGBTQI+stories of survival and to raise awareness of the impacts of stigma. Around the world, grants made by the Elton John AIDS Foundation make possible the work of countless community-rooted organizations that touch the lives of millions every day. For more information, and to join the fight, visit www.ejaf.org
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This is a @witness_change project. For more stories of survival follow @WhereLoveIsIllegal


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Photo @Hammond_Robin for @WhereLoveIsIllegal
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Avelino, from Mozambique, is a traditional healer. He is also gay. -
It is said by some that to be LGBT is ‘un-African.’ This is not only obviously inaccurate, it’s dangerous. These kinds of statements reinforce stigma and label LGBTQI+ Africans with shame. Where stigma and discrimination thrive, HIV infection rates amongst vulnerable LGBTQI+ soar.
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The furs and beads Avelino wears are unmistakably African. He struck a flamboyant, feminine pose for this photograph. That’s why I love this image - it is proof that there does not need to be tension between homosexuality and 'African values.’ What it doesn’t show though is that Avelino is HIV positive. He told us about first finding out: "It was scary, I did not expect it.” He said. He told us he contracted HIV because he didn’t really understand the risks. This is not unusual in countries where LGBTQI+ communities are isolated. In Mozambique more than a third of gay men have HIV. New hope comes in the form of a program that will test thousands for HIV, as well as train LGBTQI+ people to test their peers confidentially and in their own homes.
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Where Love is Illegal traveled to Kenya, Mozambique and Ghana with the support of Elton John AIDS Foundation (@ejaf @ejafdn) to continue our work sharing LGBTQI+ stories of survival and to raise awareness of the impacts of stigma. Around the world, grants made by the Elton John AIDS Foundation make possible the work of countless community-rooted organizations that touch the lives of millions every day. For more information, and to join the fight, visit www.ejaf.org
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This is a @witness_change project. For more stories of survival follow @whereloveisillegal


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Photo by @hammond_robin for @onedayinmyworld and @natgeo
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A boy watches the call to prayer coming from a makeshift Mosque in Moria camp. Maintaining some sense of normality is vital to the inhabitants of the camp whose world’s have been turned upside down by the situation they find themselves in.
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The Island of Lesbos, Greece: a camp overflows with refugees and their desperation. Inhuman living conditions and a snail-paced relocation process can drive the already traumatized towards depression and suicide - mental health issues that haunt a people with no home. They risked their lives to get to Europe. They thought they had escaped the trauma & would find peace, a future. They were wrong.
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#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. This work was made in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières @doctorswithoutborders who are providing mental health support to the island’s refugees. See the full story at the link in my bio. To see more on Instagram follow @onedayinmyworld


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Last week we lost a hero and a friend. Marcel (not his real name) dedicated his life to supporting Ghana’s hidden LGBTQI+ community. His work saved lives, but he will not be honored with a monument, appear in the newspaper, be mourned by his nation. He was a silent hero, quietly helping those relegated to the shadows. He touched our lives too. The @whereloveisillegal team worked with Marcel while in Ghana. It’s people like Marcel that make our work possible. But he was more than a guide. He became our friend. His last message to us a was “Checking on u. Miss u.” We will miss you too brother.
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“My junior brothers and my parents do suspect me, but I always find a way to educate them on my sexual life. They don't really feel comfortable, but my Dad and Mum said they love me who I am and accept me the way I am.” Marcel. Ghana. Died June 2018.
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In #Ghana, only a brave few dare show their face and publicly say they identify as LGBTQI+, most live in the shadows fearing discrimination, hatred and violence if they lived openly.
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Click the link in our profile to read Marcel’s story and learn how you can support. Photo by @Hammond_Robin. This is a @witness_change project. For more stories follow @whereloveisillegal


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Photo by @hammond_robin for @onedayinmyworld
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"I wish I stayed in Syria and died” says Kasim (in black t-shirt) head of the Al Salih family from Deir Ez-Zor, Syria. The family left Syria in July 2017 after their home and neighborhood was destroyed by barrel-bombs dropped by the Syrian government. They travelled at night on foot trying to avoid the bombing and ISIS who controlled the city. It took them many attempts to cross into Turkey and many to cross from Turkey to Lesbos in Greece. After the exhausting and dangerous journey they finally arrived in Europe. It was not what they expected: “It’s been very bad here.” says Kasim of life in Moria camp, "There is no life here."
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Moria overflows with refugees and their desperation. Inhuman living conditions and a snail-paced relocation process can drive the already traumatized towards depression and suicide - mental health issues that haunt a people with no home. They risked their lives to get to Europe. They thought they had escaped the trauma & would find peace, a future. They were wrong.
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#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. This work was made in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières @doctorswithoutborders who are providing mental health support to the island’s refugees. See the full story on www.nationalgeographic.com/ To see more on instagram or share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld


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Photo by @hammond_robin for @onedayinmyworld
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I have two young nieces in New Zealand. They’ve never, thank God, had to shelter from bombs, or seen dead bodies lying outside their house, or, as one kid in this camp described to me, smelt death. The little girl in this photo is wearing a top with characters on it from the Disney movie Frozen. She and my nieces in New Zealand love the same film, but how different their childhoods have been. As European ministers meet today to fight over who will be toughest on those trying to come to Europe, I hope they realise who they are talking about - little girls like this, who deserve the same potential futures offered to my nieces in a safe country free of bombs and blood and the smell of death.
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Moria overflows with refugees and their desperation. Inhuman living conditions and a snail-paced relocation process can drive the already traumatized towards depression and suicide - mental health issues that haunt a people with no home. They risked their lives to get to Europe. They thought they had escaped the trauma & would find peace, a future. They were wrong.
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#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. This work was made in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières @doctorswithoutborders who are providing mental health support to the island’s refugees. See the full story on www.nationalgeographic.com/ To see more on instagram or share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld


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Photo by @Hammond_Robin / @noorimages
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I started @WhereLoveIsIllegal because I wanted to contribute towards the fight against homophobia and transphobia. I had heard about homophobic laws and read the reports from human rights group condemning them, but rarely did I hear from the targets of this discrimination. Believing that people can be moved when they come to know survivors of abuse, I thought photography and storytelling might contribute towards creating a connection that might lead to action.
Most of Where Love Is Illegal's stories have been of difficulties faced. But many also have been of great resilience, and love found, despite massive challenges. Recent work made in collaboration with The Elton John Aids Foundation was no different - stories of terrible suffering, but also of incredible courage and of love. Of course, it should never have to take courage to be with the person you love, but in many many places around the world, for hundreds of thousands of people it does.
We’ll be sharing our new work at @WhereLoveIsIllegal. Please follow along.
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“We are a gay couple, we are a couple together for almost 4 years, like a common couple we have gone through many problems, but love has always spoken louder. I do not regret anything. If I had to go back in time and do something different, I would not do anything different. I would do everything the same.”
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In Mozambique, where Neston and Avelino are from, more than a third of gay men have HIV, but, because of stigma, many don’t have access to care. New hope comes in the form of a program that will test thousands for HIV, as well as train LGBTQI+ people to test their peers confidentially and in their own homes.
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Where Love is Illegal traveled to Kenya, Mozambique and Ghana with the support of Elton John AIDS Foundation (@ejaf @ejafdn). Around the world, grants made by the Elton John AIDS Foundation make possible the work of countless community-rooted organizations that touch the lives of millions every day. For more information, and to join the fight, visit www.ejaf.org
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This is a @witness_change project. For more stories of survival, and to share your own, go to @whereloveisillegal


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Photo by @Hammond_Robin / @noorimages for @WhereLoveIsIllegal
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Launching today in @NYTimes the latest work from Where Love Is Illegal. Grateful to @EltonJohn for writing such a powerful article.
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“During my teenage I was expelled from school, because I was gotten exchanging letters with my boyfriend. That’s when my parents disowned me and put police to hunt me down. When I got to know about it I had to flee Uganda, because my life was in danger.” Tasha, a transgender woman from Uganda, went to Kenya hoping she’d find safety and acceptance. She quickly came to realise that this was not a safe country for LGBTQI+ people. “As a transgender, I’m always indoors. Me, I never move out. I’ve never enjoyed my life here in Nairobi, that is what I have to tell you. Because from Monday to Monday, from January to January I’m always indoors. I only move out if it’s really important, very-very important, because I’m scared for my life.”
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Many LGBTQI+ east Africans have sought safety in Kenya. They often find though that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia is just as prevalent. -
Where Love is Illegal traveled to Kenya, Mozambique and Ghana with the support of Elton John AIDS Foundation (@ejaf @ejafdn) to continue our work sharing LGBTQI+ stories of survival and to raise awareness of the impacts of stigma. Around the world, grants made by the Elton John AIDS Foundation make possible the work of countless community-rooted organizations that touch the lives of millions every day. For more information, and to join the fight, visit www.ejaf.org
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This is a @witness_change project. For more stories of survival follow @whereloveisillegal


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Photo by @hammond_robin / @NoorImages for @onedayinmyworld
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Europe too is detaining families. I spent time recently with detained refugee families on the Greek Island of Lesbos. -
“I miss my country, I miss all of Syria – I love my country,” says 14 year old Syrian Bilal Al Fadoos, a refugee on the Greek island of Lesbos. “I love it because I lived there and played around with my friends. The friends that I loved are dead, they died in front of me.”
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Children in Moria, a camp where 8,000 refugees wait to be moved to mainland Europe. The camp was built to host a maximum of 2,500 people. -
Moria overflows with refugees and their desperation. Inhuman living conditions and a snail-paced relocation process can drive the already traumatized towards depression and suicide - mental health issues that haunt a people with no home. They risked their lives to get to Europe. They thought they had escaped the trauma & would find peace, a future. They were wrong.
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#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. This work was made in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières @doctorswithoutborders who are providing mental health support to the island’s refugees. See the full story on our website (link in my profile). To see more on instagram or share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld


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