Peter Tatchell

In 2009 I was lucky enough to be invited onto Peter’s flat to make a portrait of him. Peter is a fearless human right’s campaigner and because he speaks out against some very nasty people, his flat, near Elephant & Castle, is a bit of a fortress and sanctuary. Understandably Peter seemed quite nervous of me and guarded. It was quite unusual for a photographer to be in his personal space. I have since photographed Peter a few times and he’s an elusive subject in that he is happy to be photographed but likes to control what pictures you can take, so it’s a test to get something candid. I’m not sure all these (see other posts) are that candid but they do have a documentary feel to them, showing Peter in his lair.

In recent years his health has suffered from the the stress of his workload and the side affects of some the the beatings he’s suffered at the hands of Robert Mugabe’s henchmen and Russian homophobic thugs. He is constantly under attack from trolls on twitter who spread lies and untruths and abuse him. The beatings and the constant abuse he receives would kill a lesser person. More remarkable as he is only very slightly built becoming thinner as the years pass. I like this picture because (looking back now in 2017) his eyes are vibrant, there’s a pride and almost a nobility in his countenance. Like that of a proud child needing to be loved and approved of. We all need that don’t we.

Peter is the only living person to be given the honour of a Blue Plaque on his residence.

Peter crop gun 3 - Version 4

David Gwinnutt Written by:

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