• Aug 31, 2018
Photographer captures Indian men non-romantically holding hands

India, a country where people are homophobic to an extent that they lose their mind every time they even hear the word HOMO, has a different and unconventional obsession with holding hands of the same sex. Such obsession was observed by a British fashion and celebrity photographer Vincent Dolman on his recent visit to India. 

Dolman found this gesture to be “Delightfully unconventional” and contrast to the West, where homophobia and cultural norms have made men of all ages uncomfortable with this kind of physical contact. On his return from a recent trip to India, he came across a photo he took of two men holding hands by the Gateway of India in Mumbai. Charmed by the gesture, Dolman decided to return back to India to find more men hand-in-hand. 

In June, he visited India again and while wandering in Mumbai, he captured hundreds of men of all age holding hands on the beach, near the tourist sites and on the streets. The pictures resulted in a series of around 15 images showing men of different age holding hands in the different places of Mumbai.  

“It’s about friendship, and Indian men do it without even thinking about it...I found it really beautiful. It’s quite gentle and nice,” Dolman said in an interview. “But the photos are kind of holding a mirror up to Western society, saying, look, what have we lost? We’re just not like that with each other, and it’s sad really.” 

All Images © Vincent Dolman