Mimi Cherono Ng’ok’s best photograph: a new perspective on male bodies

Photo of Mimi Cherono Ng’ok’s best photograph: a new perspective on male bodies
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‘The image captures our relationship – the affection, the intimacy, the vulnerability. But why do so many people ask if he’s my boyfriend?’

The boy is a close friend, an artist I met in Ghana about a year before I made this photo. The image perfectly captures our relationship at the time: the affection, the intimacy and the vulnerability. People who see this often ask: “Is that your boyfriend?” It’s a double standard. I’m not sure male photographers get asked that kind of question.

I’d been working a lot with my family, particularly my sisters, and was timid about making images of men’s bodies. I don’t think I was ready to navigate friendship and desire in the way this image does.

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