Friday, 22 April 2011
Tuesday, 19 April 2011
oil painting 60 x 70cm
This painting came from reading about the murder of David Kato, a LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual) rights activist in Uganda on 26th January this year.
I was shocked to read how openly homophobic newspapers and politicians are in Uganda. The Rolling Stone is a tabloid newspaper which has printed Ugandan homosexuals' names, photographs and addresses with a call for the named people to be hanged.
Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and is punishable by incarceration for up to 14 years. In October 2009 MP David Bahati submitted a bill that asked for the death penalty 'for people who have previous convictions, are HIV-positive, or engage in same sex acts with people under 18 byears of age' (wikipedia). A motion to introduce this bill was passed, but due to international pressure a revision was made, and it remains under discussion in parliament as of February 2011.
The painting is composed from stills from a really good 3 minute video on you tube about this subject:
and also from some images from the net of David Kato and the offending newspaper articles. The title is a quote from the above mentioned film. It was said by the man in the centre of the painting whilst speaking about whether he would lie about his sexuality to save his life. I was moved by his bravery and resolve to never lie about who he is.
I wanted to show how overlooked lesbians seem to be in discussions about about gay rights in Uganda by having 2 barely visible women placed at the top centre of the painting.