Leilah Babirye

‘Kuchu Ndagamuntu (Queer Identity Card)’ is a new series of paintings on paper depicting ambiguously-gendered subjects from Leilah Babirye’s native Uganda against vividly-coloured backgrounds. These portraits of lipstick-wearing, bearded queens are inspired by passport photos or identity cards and emphasise how the LGBTQ community face more discrimination, poverty, violence and experience a lack of legal protection and healthcare. Through application of bright, viscous acrylic paint Babirye imagines queer lineages amongst the ancestral clans of the Bugandan people. Collectively, these works envisage an international utopia of queer Ugandans liberated from the homophobic oppression of the artist’s homeland.