In March 2023 Ugandan MPs passed a bill imposing the death penalty for homosexuality. In the run up to the bill’s passing, a new wave of anti-gay animus has taken hold. In February alone more than 110 LGBTQ Ugandans reported incidents including arrests, sexual violence, evictions and public undressing to advocacy group SMUG. The bill further puts LGBTQ people at risk by threatening landlords who rent to them with imprisonment.
Funded by international religious groups, newspapers, talk radio shows, and social media in Uganda have become saturated with hate speech and disinformation. These right wing western groups blur the line between homosexuality and pedophilia so that, in the public eye, the two have become virtually indistinguishable. With this deception, they manufacture moral panic around child protection rhetoric and mobilise it against LGBTQ people.
We are a group of LGBTQ Ugandans and UK allies from the arts, electronic music and activist community who are rallying to directly support at risk individuals. Money raised in partnership with hashtagwhatnext, Ugly Duck, misery, and KALLIDA will go directly to those affected, paying for costs such as:
- Bail for LGBTQ people imprisoned
- Relocating to a safer area
- Emergency accommodation costs
- Legal and medical fees
- Visa and transportation costs for those leaving the country
The fundraising goal will fulfil these needs for the 34 at risk LGBTQ individuals who have reached out to the collective so far. Our fundraising goal will be extended as more requests come in, and updates on how the funds have been distributed will be given below.
Press about this campaign:
27th April - Electronic music event in London, details TBC
Alice McCool is an investigative journalist who has reported on LGBTQ and gender issues since 2016 for media outlets such as The Guardian, VICE and Thomson Reuters. In 2021 she was part of a crowdfunding campaign which successfully raised over £11,000 to send a queer Ugandan photographer to study in Johannesburg.
De Lovie Kwagala is a human rights activist and the first nonbinary queer photographer in Uganda. They are founder of hashtagwhatnext, a platform responding to the recent passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill through fundraising and information sharing.
Ugly Duck is a London based arts organisation that supports under-represented voices and emerging artists. Their programme enables makers, community groups, professionals and the public to come together around unique cultural experiences and curated events. Ugly Duck creative producer Deen Atger did a residency in Kampala Uganda in 2018, and in 2021 partnered with East African Soul Train (EAST) on LOST + FOUND, a virtual interdisciplinary arts residency and research programme.
misery is a playful creative mental health community led by and for queer, trans, intersex people of colour with lived experience of mental health problems, madness, addiction, disability, trauma, and neurodivergence. In 2022 misery collaborated with artists from Uganda at their sober rave and residency in Zurich and also recorded several editions of their radio show from Kampala.
KALLIDA is a music and arts event, with a focus on immersive production & soundsystem culture. They partnered with Nyege Nyege Festival in Uganda in 2018 to collaborate on stage design and installation curation. KALLIDA also hosted Ugandan artists as part of their festival in the UK.