Photographer Lewis Khan was on the tube when he first bumped into three “interesting-looking” Florence and the Machine fans, in London from Poland for the weekend. “I approached them and got chatting – they were really keen to tell me the story straight away,” he explains. His curiosity piqued, Khan got in touch with the organisers of the club’s annual event, which takes place in Warsaw, and arranged to go and photograph the goings-on. Dog Days is the resulting photo-series, an up-close and emotive look at the two-day event in the Polish capital.
The club, which originated on Facebook and now boasts members from all across Poland, attracts around 100 people for its yearly meet-up, which is as much about the power of pop music as it is about creating a safe space for the city’s marginalised LGBTQ community. Khan quickly honed in on the revelry and unabashed joy of the attendees as they sang and danced, dressed in fantastical outfits – velvet, lace, fringing, metallics and glitter all present.
As a result, Dog Days showcases a lack of inhibitions amongst the group, something that Khan had hoped he’d encounter once there. “What I was interested in before going there was photographing belonging – I’d been thinking a lot about why people feel belonging to a certain place or a certain group of people,” he explains. He hadn’t anticipated the haven the group would provide in an often oppressive cultural context. “The fan club acts as a banner, people come from all over Poland for it, but it’s really a social safe space amongst that climate of quite intense homophobia in Poland.”
For more of Lewis Khan’s work, head to his website.