Ricky Martin

In a first for Africa, the well-known US-based NOH8 gay rights photographic campaign will officially be part of this year’s upcoming “Stand up and be counted” Cape Town Pride festivities.

The NOH8 Campaign is a photographic silent protest created in 2008 by celebrity photographer Adam Bouska and partner Jeff Parshley in response to the passage of the Proposition 8 law that banned same-sex marriage in the state of California.

The focus has since expanded to encompass LGBT discrimination and bullying of all kinds.

The campaign’s photos feature subjects with duct tape over their mouths, symbolising their voices being silenced, with “NOH8” painted on one cheek in protest.

The campaign has become a cause favoured by celebrities and, in addition to the thousands of ordinary gay and gay-supporting people who’ve taken part, stars such as Kim Kardashian, Cher, Lady GaGa, Deepak Chopra, Miley Cyrus and Mariah Carey have been photographed by Bouska.

In 2009, there was an attempt to launch a local version of NOH8, but it failed as it was not done with the backing of the campaign’s founders in the US.

Now, Cape Town Pride organisers have announced that after years of requests Bouska will be holding two official NOH8 photo shoots in the Mother City on 1 and 2 March.

“The partnership came about as Cape Town Pride and the NOH8 campaign have similar synergies,” Pride Festival Director Luiz De Laja told “NOH8 had never been to Africa, so contact was made and we got talking. One of our outlines for 2013 was to break boundaries and prejudices and try and build partnerships to promote Cape Town to a global audience,”

De Laja urged members of the LGBT community and all other Capetonians to take part to show their support for NOH8 as well as Pride.


He said that while there is a fee of R180 per person to be photographed this goes towards funding the campaign.

“The Cape Town Pride team felt the normal rates were a bit on the high end so we offered some incentives and managed to get a more feasible rate to make it more inclusive. All funds are paid to the NOH8 campaign, who will in turn make a donation or contribution to the Cape Town Pride 2013 festival,” explained De Laja.

“It is a great honour to be the first city and country in Africa to be recognised on such a global platform, and, with our theme this year, it sends out a message in saying that gay or straight, no matter what your sexual orientation is, come ‘Stand up and be counted’ with Cape Town Pride.”

The Cape Town Pride Festival takes place from 20 February until 3 March.

The NOH8 photo shoots will be held on Friday 1 March at the Protea Hotel Sea Point (3 to 6 PM) and on Saturday 2 March at the Pride Street Fair (2 to 6 PM) on Napier, Cobern and Liddle streets, Green Point.

If you’d like to be photographed you do not need to make a reservation; the photos are on a first come, first served basis – simply arrive at the venue. You’re asked to wear a plain white shirt to match the look of the signature NOH8 photos.

The NOH8 campaign accepts cash and major credit cards and you will be given access to one retouched digital print through the NOH8 website.

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