New Voices – Brooklynn T. Kascel

New Voices is an event series presenting the work of the photographers who are part of the 2021-2023 VII Mentor Program and The Leica Women Foto Project x VII Mentor Program. The VII Mentor Program is made up of thirteen gifted young photographers with diverse experiences who were chosen from nearly 300 applicants from 65 countries.

The series, hosted by David Campbell and Ilvy Njiokiktjien, showcases the stories the photographers are working on and discusses how they are creating a viable career in visual journalism.

In this episode, we are speaking with Brooklyn T. Kascel.



David Campbell: Brooklyn, it’s great to have you with us. Can you tell us, just introduce yourself to the audience a little bit and tell us how you got into photography, when you started and what you aim to do by being a photographer.


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Yeah. Thanks for having me. My name is Brooklyn. I am from Iowa originally. I live in Minneapolis now. I’ve been here for about five years. Um, it’s hard to really say when I got into photography. I don’t really remember. But I started really focusing on it in like 2015- 2016, at the end of college, that’s kind of when I realized that’s what I wanted to do. So, I worked at my college newspaper called The Daily Iowan, like I worked there for like two years. And right away, got really interested in photographing politics. That’s kind of what I focused on during my time there. And then, when that ended, I started working on personal projects. Yeah, and then since then, that’s pretty much been my focus.


David Campbell: So, tell us a little bit about photographing politics. Not many people get into that. It’s actually one of the most difficult things to picture in many sorts of ways. How did you approach that? What sort of issues were you covering? What sort of take did you develop?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: I was really fortunate to have the opportunity to work at this, like learning newspaper. So, we got access to like a bunch of different political events in Iowa. During the presidential, like, right before the presidential campaign in 2015-2016. So, it was like photographing Donald Trump before he was anyone in like, really small venues in Iowa City, photographed Hillary Clinton a lot, traveled around Iowa, photographing other potential candidates. Um, yeah, and during that timeline, kind of just tried to make it as interesting as possible within that space.


David Campbell: So, it was that sort of coverage based on doing portraits, how were you trying to represent sort of the way they were talking or thinking about politics?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: There were, yeah, I wouldn’t say it was just portraiture, it was more like covering events as a whole with whoever the candidate was being the central aspect. But also, really focusing on the people who come to those events in just the culture around that space in general.


David Campbell: And did you have a little foretaste of what Trump would become when you were covering him in Iowa because you would have been one of the first people to see him early on in that process before the 2016 presidential election?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Yeah, I don’t think I really knew much about him at the time. I kind of just went because that was my assignment. But then as time went on, I think we all became more aware of who he would be later. Yeah.


David Campbell: So, you move to personal projects, tell us a little bit about what the issues are that you want to cover in personal projects and how you think about developing those personal projects.


Brooklyn T. Kascel: So, the longest project, or the current project I’m working on now I’ve been working on since 2016. And those are the images that I’ll be showing today. And my project is called fair and loving and it’s about queer and trans narratives in the Midwest with a specific focus on Iowa, because that’s where I’m from.


David Campbell: And tell us a little bit about those issues for queer and trans communities in Iowa. Are there challenges specific to those communities in Iowa or is it the same sorts of challenges that might be experienced across the US, across all the countries and so on.


Brooklyn T. Kascel: I think it’s both. For this region specifically it’s a lot about how politics and culture interact around queer and trans people. And there just aren’t many spaces in the Midwest for these populations. So, a lot of the work is about like, where we go to create those spaces for ourselves and how we interact with, I mean, like all this legislation that’s been happening and violence against Korean trans people. But it also is like a broader view of what’s happening in the US as a whole in the past couple of years.


David Campbell: And is the bigotry and discrimination getting worse in recent times? You mentioned lots of legislation, what moves are afoot in Iowa to discriminate against those communities?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: I think it’s very, it’s very indirect and a lot of ways. There’s a lot of like visual messaging when you’re like driving around rural Iowa. And I think it’s, yeah, it’s really subverted. And just really not feeling comfortable, like not being able to be public in your affection for other people within like, queer relationships.


David Campbell: So why don’t you show us some of the images, take us through some of the visuals that make up the story and talk us through the story.


Brooklyn T. Kascel: So, this is a small selection of a very massive project. And I’ve included a lot of landscape because that is a major character of the story, like this really expansive and beautiful landscape that is in the Midwest but living in a region that’s really restrictive in a lot of other cultural and political ways.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: And it’s in several states, the images?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: The majority are in Minnesota and Iowa. There’s a couple from Illinois and Wisconsin, as well.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Was it what was it like to find people to work with you? Was it difficult to win trust? Or was it not?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Um, I think the trust came pretty quickly. Most of the people that are in this project are people I’ve known for many years. Some folks I met before I even started the project. Other people I’ve met along the way who have been really receptive to me photographing their own experiences of being queer and trans in this region.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Beautiful. So, I see some people are unrecognizable or a little bit photographed on the back. Was there a fear of people recognizing them, or?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: No, um, yeah, the images where people’s faces aren’t shown isn’t because they don’t want to be recognizable, but I think it just translates to not feeling like you can be your full self and your full transparent—yeah, we just, there’s just this constant feeling of not being able to be your full self in this area of the country.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Yeah. Now you feel that really well actually, when you see the faces or like the person looking the other way towards the mirror, you really feel like belonging, yeah, let’s see, yeah, this one. I can imagine belonging in a state or being in a state where you’re not fully accepted, or you feel you’re not fully accepted. I think the way you portray that, but just photographing the backside really helps to tell the story in this case.


David Campbell: What’s going on in this picture?


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Yeah


Brooklyn T. Kascel: So, this is someone stabbing a beer can at a party. I don’t know if this is common in other parts of the world, but it’s kind of like a shotgun when you try and drink the beer as fast as you can.


David Campbell: Right. So, it’s, like you said, letting air in at one end, and then open it up at the other and try to down it in one gulp.


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Yeah.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: I’m learning. I’m learning.


David Campbell: That may not be well-known in the Netherlands, but—


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: No, not yet. But it might catch on after this. Sounds like something we’d be good at. So, what kind of place is this? Is it a general bar?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: This is a gay bar in Chicago.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Are they? Are they common in other places in the Midwest? Or is it very uncommon to have gay bars?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Um, I would say depends on where you’re located. Like, this picture is from Chicago. And I know they have a few gay bars there. Because it’s like a really highly populated area. Um, but like, where I grew up in Iowa, I think there were like, there was like, maybe one?


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Yeah


David Campbell: I imagine, correct me if I’m wrong, but I imagine that there’s a distinction between growing up in a rural area or a small town versus growing up in a suburban area or a city. With the latter, maybe having more spaces, but fewer spaces in rural areas, would that be correct?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Yeah


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Yeah, definitely.


David Campbell: So, does that mean people move a lot? Do they want to move to cities to be part of the community? Or do they stay in their own communities and try and carve out their own spaces?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: I think that’s also like a both-and situation. I think it’s very popular for queer and trans people who grew up in really small towns to move to like the next biggest city. And even then, that city might not be that big.


But I do know there are many areas in the country where queer people have to make their own community, because they don’t want to leave where they’re from or where they’re currently living. I think those situations become harder when you don’t have a broader community to lean on.


David Campbell: Yes, having to find all those things yourself and make those connections yourself would be really difficult. I was gonna say this seems like quite a foreboding image, the power of the church. Is that what you wanted to convey with that? Or is there something else that you wanted to convey with this?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: I think religious messaging Israel, really common in Iowa, and was really prevalent in me growing up. Like, I went to church until I was, I think, 19. And so, being in that space really influenced who I am today and really hindered my ability to understand who I was as a queer person. And so, I still feel really connected to the church in like a physical way, but not necessarily in a spiritual way anymore. And I think, because these spaces are so prevalent, and there’s so many churches everywhere in the Midwest, you just can’t really get away from it.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: What do you mean by the physical way compared to the spiritual way,


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Meaning there are just so many churches everywhere. Like even in really small towns, you’ll find like five or six different churches.


David Campbell: And are there any congregations that are welcoming of queer and trans communities in, that you’ve come across or experienced? Or is it as we kind of, sort of see from the outside is a is a conservative force all the time, but is restrictive, the church.


Brooklyn T. Kascel: I would say I’ve been hearing more about more liberal leaning churches, who do acknowledge the LGBTQ community and do welcome them. And I think that’s something that’s starting to change a little bit within the last few years. But definitely, when I was growing up, I had never heard of, like gay people being welcomed in a church.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: So, by working on this series, was it in some way, for you personally, did it change, like, was it healing? Or did it do something for you? Or is it because you’ve worked on it since 2016? You said, right? Is it changing you as well giving you new perspectives on the story? On your story as well?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Yeah, definitely. The reason I started this project was because it was at a point in my life where I was feeling really lost within my own identity and felt like it was really hard for me to make connections with other people. I had just come out as queer and just didn’t really know what was next. So, this project was a way for me to build more community around my identity and has definitely given me a new perspective on where I come from. I had a lot of hatred for Iowa for a really long time. And because I go back so often now to photograph, it’s really shifted my perspective. And knowing that it isn’t always this horrible, scary place. It is really beautiful in a lot of ways. But there is definitely an immediate change that needs to happen in that area.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: How do you think this change would happen in the best way? Or the fastest way? Or what should happen in the near future?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: I think it will be determined by this next generation of political leaders. And as like Gen Z and millennials start taking places in different offices at the state and national level, I think that will really started to change some fundamental ways of thinking. But beyond that, I think we all just have our own responsibilities to try and make this region more accepting and more welcoming to everyone.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Yeah. Like speaking up, which you are doing now with the images already. Did many of the people in the images become your friends through the project? Or were they friends and ended up in the project? Or both?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Both.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Okay.


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Yeah, for some people who are in the project, I think, working on this project has really allowed us to remain connected. Because the way I work is I’ll go back to Iowa, or like rural Minnesota and spend like a few days with people, photographing them and just really immersing myself in their experience and how that relates to my own.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: I like the cigarettes. Oh, my goodness.


Brooklyn T. Kascel: So, this is a sign that I pass every time I drive to Iowa.


David Campbell: Wow.


Brooklyn T. Kascel: It’s there like spring, summer, fall, winter, it’s just always there and never really changes.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Wow.


David Campbell: There’s something nicely subversive about this image because the flag is tattered, as though, you know, the country is declining or falling apart, or whatever. I would read that as it’s falling apart because of those sorts of views. Others could read it the reverse way or whatever. But I think there’s an interesting juxtaposition between the flag and the sign.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: And the fact that the word not has been torn off before and then written down again,


David Campbell: Yeah. Can we go back to the previous image Brooklyn, because I think that’s— tell us a little bit about the person here and, and what you’re photographing in this situation.


Brooklyn T. Kascel: So, this is my friend, Don, who I’ve known for about 15 years. And we were actually childhood friends, and then became reconnected during college. So, I’ve photographed them for many years now. And Don is a trans man. And they really embraced me being in their life as a friend, and also, me documenting their life and different parts of their transition. And they often asked me to come down and photograph them when they are going through different types of transition. So, they’ve really welcomed me into their life. And yeah, I think I’ll probably continue photographing them for a really long time.


David Campbell: One of the things I love about this image is that it’s the sort of the current of gun culture. And, you know, that is how a lot of people would conventionally see the Midwest as being conservative based in gun culture. But, but here, this is a person that’s transitioning. So, it’s showing the complexity, I think of the identities and the complexity of the culture there. Tell us tell us something about these people.


Brooklyn T. Kascel: So, I met these people through my partner. The person on the right is my partner’s cousin, who is a queer person and identifies as non-binary. So, in a way, it’s like shifting this perspective on who can marry each other. And on the outside, you might suspect that these people are a straight couple and are cisgendered. But it also pointed to the fact that we really can never understand who someone is just based on their outward appearance. So, in a way they are participating in this traditional ceremony. But it’s in, it’s like through a queer lens.


And this is the last image.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Beautiful one. What, what do you want the project to become? Or what has happened to it already, maybe. Do want to make a book or publication or—


Brooklyn T. Kascel: I definitely want to make a book. I think that’s the long-term goal. But until then, I really want to curate a traveling exhibition in the Midwest, in smaller communities and really get more public perspectives on how this story relates to people’s experiences.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Do you think it will be— ah, sorry, David, go ahead.


David Campbell: I was just going to say, so to use a traveling exhibition as a platform for conversation and discussion to change people’s views.


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Yeah


David Campbell: Yeah


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Do you feel considering the area that it will be possible to host this, these kinds of or to have events and the Traveling Exhibition surrounding this project? Or do you think there will be it will be difficult?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: I think it will depend on where the exhibitions are located. I imagine there might be some disagreements about this work being shown, but I do have hope that there will be enough people in these areas who support the work and want it to be seen by other people in their community who might not agree with the narrative or who might not know, any queer trans people, so they might have, they might just not have any perspective on this population at all.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Yeah


David Campbell: As a traveling exhibition, would you want, how would you want to display it in terms of people’s stories? Would it be predominantly visual with not much supporting text? Or would you want to build in like a narrative of people stories? How would you handle those sorts of questions?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: I want it to be shown in a couple different ways. The way I really like to show my images is I project them on a large screen, and then I play music to accompany their images. And then I also want it to be like a traditional exhibition with framed prints. But I’m also going to incorporate recordings of people who are in the project, talking about how they feel about being in it, and how it’s impacted their experience.


David Campbell: Yeah, I think it would be extremely powerful to hear people’s voices directly.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Especially if they will be showcased in the places where you photograph them. Might be difficult, but it will be very interesting to see what would happen to a community to hear the personal story of someone, instead of you just being a person in a community.


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Yeah


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: People have certain ideas about this person already instead of talking to them, or yeah, to learn about someone’s story, I can also change someone’s mind a bit. That’s what I always hope. That’s true. But I think, yeah, especially when it’s a personal story or touching story, it should definitely help. And if you would want to make this a traveling exhibition, when would this be? When is it finished?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: That’s always a question. I’m debating.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Is it ever?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Yeah, I don’t know if it ever will be finished. I think I’ll probably work on this project forever.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Yeah.


Brooklyn T. Kascel: But I think right now, I have enough imagery and enough depths on the story that I think I could do an exhibition soon. But that definitely wouldn’t be the final edit by any means.


David Campbell: Now, the project is ongoing versions of the exhibition will be ongoing. So, it can be constantly evolving in that sense, we have an interesting comment from Ted in the chat. And he says that your Iowa looks very different to Danny Wilcox Frazier Iowa. And now, of course, doesn’t know that, but then is one of your mentors in the in in the program. But do you think that’s correct? Do you think that you and Danny have kind of different kind of different Iowa’s as your subjects? Or is there some overlap or intersection between them?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: That’s an interesting question. Yeah, I mean, the reasons why we worked on our respective projects are extremely different. So, I think the imagery will be different because of that. I think the one overlapping piece would be the natural landscape. Yeah, I think those two versions correlate for sure. And I think Iowa is a place where you can’t really talk about it without talking about the landscape and what it looks like and what it feels like.


David Campbell: And the choice to make the work in black and white. Tell us a little bit about that. Do you always work in black and white? Or was that a choice specific to this project? And what was the reasoning behind it?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: I do some color work. I mean, for like editorial assignments. I’ll photograph in color and for other smaller projects I’ve done they’ve been in color. And I did go back and forth for a while at the beginning of this project to determine whether it was going to be in black and white or color, but I think it was really influenced by a lot of the work I was looking at, at the beginning of my career. Like Donna Ferrato, and Latoya Ruby Frazier, really big inspirations for me, as well as Danny’s work. And I kind of just decided it would be black and white and just kept going from there.


David Campbell: So, this question from Tim, in the audience, he says, Are there any plans to expand this project beyond Iowa and Minnesota in the Midwest? Or is the goal to remain focused on these states? LGBTQI+ people from rural areas around the country no doubt struggle with similar experiences. So, it seems like a project that could successfully go in either direction. Have you thought about expanding it? Or do you wish to remain kind of focused on the Midwest?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: I’ll remain focused on the Midwest. But I think there’s opportunity to expand it. If and when the major characters in the project move elsewhere. I would want to follow them and see how their lives change as their location changes.


David Campbell: And so that’s an intention of yours is to to keep working with the people who are already part of the project as they progress through life and whatever career changes or places they move to, or whatever you would you’d like to keep documenting that as well.


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Yeah, I think there’s room for new people to come into the project. And I’ll definitely keep focusing on the folks who are in it already.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: How many are in there now?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: I would say there’s like four main characters right now. And I mean, those four people definitely can’t speak to every queer and trans experience, nor can I. So, I think that’s where I would want to incorporate some additional narratives.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: And I’m curious, because you’ve worked on it for a long time. And I recently well, a couple of years ago, finished, well, you never finished but I finished a long-term story on racism. And, and I worked on it for several years. And I had to basically publish chapters throughout the years also to kind of make money to keep going. Is that how you’ve also been doing it? Or did you find a sponsorship? Or how can you continue working in the upcoming years as well?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: I’ve always thought about it in the sequence of chapters. I haven’t done a lot with it yet. But I think within in the next few months, I want to see it get more visibility, whether that’s in a publication or exhibition somewhere, online feature or something like that.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: I think it’s the right, perfect moment for it. I think subject has so much traction now. And you being an insider helps as well, of course. So, I really hope that this will get a lot of attention and play. And what I’ve noticed as well with my project that it was quite important financially to get publications, because it gave the project visibility, which also helps to continue working on it. And I don’t know, it gave me some kind of direction as well, because sometimes you’re stuck. I don’t know if you’ve had a moment where you feel stuck in the project yet or has it?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Yeah.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Have you, yeah, in which way may I ask?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: I would say probably in like 2020. That’s where it kind of came to a halt. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with the project. I kind of just, yeah, I took several months off of thinking about the project. And then kind of got some more motivation and determination to keep working on it.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Yeah, found it back again. Yeah.


David Campbell: Yeah, it comes and goes in any project. You’re not. Nothing is ever constant. It always ebbs and flows, the energy ebbs and flows like that. Just a reminder to folks in the audience, if you want to pose a question, you can drop it into the q&a box we have we have time for some questions. We have a question from Riley to Brooklyn, do you plan to include any self-portrait imagery? Or do you foresee yourself remaining behind the camera to tell the story of the queer Midwest?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: I think they’re always options for different ways to include myself in the project. I think my writing will be a big piece of that. I do anticipate including a couple of images of myself, but I would never want that to take away from the other people who are in the story.


David Campbell: It would seem to work to an extent though, given that you are friends with these people and part of the same community and so on so forth, it wouldn’t be an imposition in that sense, it would be a natural fit.


Just turning to the practical question of sustaining yourself while doing a big personal project. How do you do that? Do you do manage to work full time in photography and different aspects of photography? If so, what are they? How do you kind of fund this project and keep it going forward?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: So, I’m a bartender. That’s how I pay the bills. And that’s how I fund this project. Obviously, I’ve, you know, applied for grants and those kinds of things. And I’m hoping that will come through at some point so I can sustain myself and have more uninterrupted time to just work on the project, instead of having to work a part time job, but that’s just how it’s always been for me, that I’ve had to figure it out in other ways. I do some editorial work, but not, it’s not enough for me to sustain myself on just that.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: So, when you were working at the Daily Iowan, if I’m saying that correctly, were you a staff? Were you staff photographer? Was it assignments at the time?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Yeah, it was a staff photographer.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Okay. So, because I wondered if you would rather be freelancing for them, for instance, or that you’d rather keep it separate, the photography of this project, and then to not work as a photographer on other things and to focus on this project only?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Yeah, I think if things would have worked out in a different way, I’m not sure I would have kept working on this project. I think not really having the responsibility to be supporting myself from freelancing has really just given me more time to really just dig into this project. And this story is the thing I’m most passionate about. So, I think at this point, I’ll just do whatever I have to do on the side to make it work.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Yeah, that makes sense. I think it’s good to keep the focus as well. We talked about that actually, in our last session as well. And can be quite distracting to do photojournalistic or photo assignments in general, while combining it with a big personal project. I think maybe working at the bar might I don’t know might make more sense in some way. Yeah.


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Yeah.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: There’s a question coming in from Jim. Does Brooklyn use digital or film photography for this work and if film, what format, 35 millimeter, etc.


Brooklyn T. Kascel: I use both digital and film. Um, my two favorite films are the ones that I only use really is 35 millimeter Tri-X and HP5.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Why did you decide to make a combination of the two of using film and digital?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: It didn’t feel very intentional ever. It’s pretty much just based on what camera I have with me. When I started photographing, I was utilizing a lot of film. And now I think it’s about like a 50-50 split.


David Campbell: Do you feel the images are different if you take them on film versus digital? Is there, somehow is the process different? Or is the aesthetic different? Or does it feel the same to you?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Um, I think it feels the same. There are definitely like some discrepancies on how it looks. But yeah, I don’t really differentiate between the two.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: And where would you see yourself, not only within this project, but within the photography world, let’s say in 15 years from now. Where do you want to be?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: I want to be teaching and I want to be able to pursue personal projects and have them published.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: And if you say have been published, what kind of publications would you like now? If you could, like have your dream publication? Where would you want it? Where would you want this project to be published for instance?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Um, I think the publications that I am most interested in now are probably the New Republic, Politico, Mother Jones. Yeah, I think in that realm, that would be a really amazing opportunity to have this work shown in any of those publications.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Yeah, I think that will be a brilliant match. Although there’s also quite an interesting network of, in other countries, LGBTQI, magazines online and offline, would that be interesting to you as well? Or rather, bigger platforms?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Yeah, I don’t think there’s any platform that I wouldn’t— well, yeah.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Well, maybe.


Brooklyn T. Kascel: I think smaller platforms are also a great way to get visibility. I mean, you never really know who’s going to see your project. wherever it lands. That’s true. And I think having this work shown abroad in any capacity would be would be really good.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Yeah.


David Campbell: So, I just dropped the link to the social documentary net that you gave us, Brooklyn where people can see more of your work or portfolio of the work there. I think. I mean, it’s interesting choice. And I think, an important choice when you named those publications, because they’re not photography publications, they’re not art publications, you want to be in the public conversation around these social issues and these political issues. And I think that’s very important for this sort of work. So, I think that’s a good ambition to be in those. So, we’re coming towards the end of our time. So, still time, if someone in the audience wants to drop a question or two in.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: There is one in here.


David Campbell: We’ve got a couple more minutes. Ilvy can ask that question.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Yeah, there was one from Riley, do you self-process your film? And if so, what does that process look like?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Yes, I do process my own film. Um, I used to run a community darkroom in Minneapolis that I founded with a couple people. We eventually had to shut it down because we couldn’t afford the space anymore. As rent is increasing everywhere. But that process looks like shooting a bunch of rolls and then developing up to like 25 to 30 at once and drying it, cutting it, scanning it and I do all of that on my own too at home.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Wow. Brilliant to see your own pictures come to life in that way.


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Yeah, it’s a really, it’s a really intentional process. And I just really enjoy. Like, I couldn’t develop for 10 hours at a time, the repetition and having to be like really precise.


David Campbell: That must feel very different. In contrast to the digital process of shooting and making digital images. You prefer the analog process?


Brooklyn T. Kascel: I like both. I wish analog didn’t take as many hours it’s just a very time-consuming way to make images. So, that’s why I don’t do it 100% of the time, but it’s worth it to me to do it at least 50% of the time.


David Campbell: Right. Well, Brooklyn, we’ve come to the end of our time. Ilvy is there anything else that you wanted to add?


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: No, I was going to ask if anyone else had a question. So, I had the same question as you for me.


David Campbell: Yep. I think we’re all good. Brooklyn, thank you very much for your time. Thank you for sharing those images. It’s an incredibly important and incredibly beautiful project, actually. And I think you deserve a lot of credit for the commitment of working in the bar to sustain this project and stay focused on it. So, I really hope that you’re able to achieve the ambition, particularly of exhibition and the discussions around those. I think it’s great work.


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Thank you. Thanks for having me.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Yeah, thanks for being here.


David Campbell: Okay


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Thanks, everyone, for watching again.


David Campbell: Indeed. Alright. See you later.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien: Thank you.


Brooklyn T. Kascel: Bye.


brooklyn, david campbell, project, photographing, people, iowa, queer, images, midwest, publications, spaces, traveling exhibition, trans, story, work, community, church, focused, exhibition, gay bars


Brooklyn T. Kascel, Ilvy Njiokiktjien, David Campbell:

Sign up for news from VII Insider

First name *
Last name *
Email *