The Against Nature Journal

The concept of ‘Nature’ is still widely used to criminalise individuals for their sexual orientation and gender identity. The laws ‘against nature’ are grounded in colonial history and religious morality, and they appear today in the penal code of more than 50 countries.

Based on recent cases supported by the NGO Legal Agenda in Beirut, The Against Nature Journal makes use of the space left for interpretation in the law to propose creative legal argumentations.

The Against Nature Journal was initiated in 2014 as a commission by Legal Agenda and arts organisation Ashkal Alwan in Beirut. Gathering the work of individuals and groups working across the fields of law, humanities, arts, activism, and science, the inquiry’s regular output is a free publication targeted to an audience of law professionals, religious leaders, activists, and researchers. Presented during events and exhibitions, published online, printed on demand, and often hand-distributed, each publication addresses the singular use of the ‘against nature’ law in a specific country.

The Against Nature Journal, an inquiry by Council (2014-ongoing)


  • Lawrence Abu Hamdan
  • Vanessa Agard-Jones
  • Marwa Arsanios
  • Pablo Bedoya
  • Pauline Boudry
  • Buenos Tiempos, Int.
  • Nikita Dawhan
  • Joscelyn Gardner
  • Nayla Geagea
  • Eric Gitari
  • Adrian Lahoud
  • Renate Lorenz
  • Youmna Makhlouf
  • Maya Mikdashi
  • Carlos Motta
  • Karim Nammour
  • Arvin Narrain
  • Emilie Noteris
  • Ashkan Sepahvand
  • Linn Tonstad
  • Zeb Tortorici
  • Grant Watson

Partner NGOs

  • Alternative Law Forum
  • Legal Agenda
  • National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission


  • Aimar Arriola


  • Julie Peeters


  • Abhijan Gupta
  • Marie Nour Héchaimé
  • Emma McCormick-Goodhart


  • Paul Dillane
  • Taru Elfving
  • Natasha Ginwala
  • Marie-Angèle Hermitte
  • Elisabeth Lebovici
  • Graeme Reid​
  • Christine Tohme
  • Kathryn Weir

Initiated with

  • Ashkal Alwan
  • Legal Agenda

Co-produced by

  • Centre Pompidou Paris
  • Contour Biennial 8
  • Medellín Museum of Modern Art

Supported by​

  • Kone Foundation
  • Foundation for Arts Initiatives
  • Frame Contemporary Arts Finland
  • Heinrich Böll Stiftung Middle East
  • Institut Français de Beyrouth
  • Foundation for Arts Initiatives

    Cover and top image: Carlos Motta, Maya Mikdashi, Deseos, 2015, film still