Storytelling is a medium that spans the ages. The narratives that are shared from one person to the next can have a lot of sway, a notion documentary photographers Jack Jackson and Deb Klein are tapping into with their ongoing project, ‘Don’t You Want Me.’ A portrait series centred around the beauty and resilience of LGBTQ people with their rescue dogs, DYWM was founded out of the duo’s “mutual desire for the silenced and marginalised to have their stories told and ultimately to be celebrated for what they could teach the rest of society.”
The two have combined their backgrounds—Jackson the queer and trans community and Klein the world of rescue dogs—to create images that, with each subject’s testimony attached, will hopefully influence a mainstream audience. “We want the world to see how beautiful these once ‘disposable’ people are,” says Jackson. And captured alongside their faithful pup, which has often experienced some of the same discriminatory hardships as their humans, shows how companionship can not only help people and animals survive, but flourish. “Seeing the love, compassion, kindness and brilliance shining out from the very people who get so much grief and abuse has changed me full stop,” adds Klein.
The emotionally charged accounts are so powerful, they plan to shoot in-depth video sessions with some of their participants for people to learn even more about their lives. For now, those in Toronto can watch the project grow in real time. Jackson and Klein have installed a DYWM outdoor banner exhibit at Cherry Beach Dog Park that will expand in size—and reach—as they photograph and share more stories.
Have you ever imagined Amy Winehouse or Nick Cave as a Chihuahua, Neil Young as a Vizsla, or PJ Harvey as an Afghan hound? That’s exactly what San Francisco-based artist Michael Gillette has done through his unique illustration project, blending beloved, iconic music legends, both past and present, with their dog counterparts. Pack of Dogs, our first foray into book publishing, is a joyful title designed for music, pop culture and dog lovers alike.
August 25, 2020