Photography, 2022

‘Come, oh you queer beautiful little being, come … Junior has tales to tell’, whisper the many characters created by Portuguese artist Bruno Oliveira for his new project Tales of Junior.

The majority of classic fairytales known by children in Europe talk about magical creatures and fantasy worlds where everything is possible.
But they don’t talk about queerness.

They talk about toxic, cis-heteronormative standards and lifestyles, through sexist and homophobic lenses.
But they don’t talk about queerness.

They talk about so-called relatable situations and even try to teach you some life lessons.
But none of those concern queerness.

If you look closely, queerness is in many cases represented through the evil witch, the clumsy elf or the isolated sorcerer. In those fantasy worlds, queerness is depicted as evil itself, the route you shouldn’t take, the character you should fear. Those fantasy worlds end up becoming a continuation of the queer child’s non-visibility in the real world.

Junior wasn’t allowed to exist either. The verdict was announced the moment his mother chose his name, ‘Junior’. Which didn’t resonate as manly enough, said the father.
Junior had to be clandestine, someone who made up his own fantasy world. One in which his friends talked about their joys, their sorrows, and why queerness shouldn’t be a
But a light to shine.
Junior, by the way, is none other than Bruno Oliveira himself.

And the creatures and fairies in his tales are none other than his friends. Who, like him, lacked any tales and stories that they could relate to as children.s
But we are trying to make some light shine, remember?

So, come close, you beautiful little queer creature.
Junior is going to tell us some tales.

Text by Ana-Filipa Martins