Paul ShiakallisLeathered Skins, Unchained Hearts portrait series documents the women of Botswana's heavy metal scene. The subculture is known as Marok, which means 'rocker' in Setswana. Leathered Skins, Unchained Hearts sees the female fans of Marok, who call themselves Queens, photographed in their homes in the capital city Gaberone and dressed in their all black metal gear.

Shiakallis explains how "some Queens were reluctant to pose for photographs, wary about where the images would end up, as they’re still ‘coming out’ as rockers". Marok fan, Queen Phoenix Tonah Slaughter, told Shiakallis "People think I am a Satanist because of the black clothes," Marok fan, Millie Hans, told Shiakallis, adding, “I usually try to explain that I pray to God and I am a Christian.” Because of the frequent criticism Marok fans experience, many Queens create anonymous names for their metal alter egos, often dressing more conservatively in the daytime and only donning their leather and studs for a show or in Facebook photos. “You got to be outspoken and strong as we are always criticised,” Queen Phoenix Tonah Slaughter told Shiakallis.

Check out the Leathered Skins, Unchained Hearts series below and more of Paul Shiakallis' work on his website.

 

 

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