“Dual Shadows” is a three-part project about the LGBT refugees of East Africa. It follows them from their homes, where they faced unimaginable abuse; to Kenya, where they fled to but faced more hardship; to the US, where many are eventually resettled through a process that takes years.
In Uganda, the notorious “Kill the Gays” bill caused international outcry. In its wake, LGBT activists received funding and a global platform unimaginable without the bill. But that same visibility created a grassroots allergic reaction. Though the rhetoric has diminished and the bill was struck down, attacks and abuse are on the rise and to be gay in Uganda may be more dangerous than ever before.
In the months after the bill’s passage, Sulait and his boyfriend were tortured in a Ugandan prison. They fled to Kenya only to be attacked by a mob of men with machetes. Hundreds of others also fled to Kenya, hoping for peace, but instead found only more persecution.
After years of waiting in hiding in Kenya, many are settled in the US. But America is not the paradise they imagined. Persecution and fear are replaced by isolation and anxiety about an unknown future.
Jake Naughton When We Were Strangers 278 Backers, $25,047 Raised
Jake Naughton is a Mexico City-based visual artist and journalist making work about queer identity in the present moment.
This takes the form of long-term, in-depth projects like This is How the Heart Beats, about East Africa’s LGBTQ community, Both Sides of the Veil, which showcases a strange limbo for India’s queer community, or When We Were Strangers, which explores and deconstructs love through the prism of his own relationship with his partner.
Alongside his artistic practice, he makes commissioned work for editorial and commercial clients like Airbnb, The New York Times, WIRED Magazine, Instagram, and more.
United Photo Industries (UPI) is a New York based nonprofit organization that works to promote a wider understanding of, and increased access to, the art of photography.
Since its founding in 2011, UPI has rapidly solidified its position in the public art landscape by continuing to showcase thought-provoking, challenging, and exceptional photography from across the globe. In its first seven years, UPI has presented the work of more than 2,500 visual artists in gallery exhibitions and public art installations worldwide.
Dual Shadows: East Africa’s LGBT Refugees
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