Canada-led project documents global gay movement

Jun 29, 2014
LGBT
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Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights is an international research and documentary project, working to advance social justice and equality for queer people around the world.

Gay activists from Canada, India and 10 other countries in Africa and the Caribbean document the conditions LGBT communities live in around the world and tell the stories of local gay rights movements.

The research focuses on the criminalization of queer people in Commonwealth countries and the fight back from the community towards injustice and unfair treatment.

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“Our goal is to share our knowledge, resources and lessons to be learned, and to document a movement,” said York University visual arts professor Nancy Nicol, who spearheaded the five-year project with funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Some of the project’s participants are in Toronto for the launch of a joint WorldPride exhibition with the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, titled Imaging Home: Resistance, Migration and Contradiction that runs until October.

The show features video portraits and photographic work that challenge the meaning of “home” in a world that keeps refining homophobic and racist oppression.

The Star interviewed two of the activists from Uganda and Kenya. The following is an edited version of the interviews.

“Our goal is to share our knowledge, resources and lessons to be learned, and to document a movement,” said York University visual arts professor Nancy Nicol, who spearheaded the five-year project with funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Some of the project’s participants are in Toronto for the launch of a joint WorldPride exhibition with the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, titled Imaging Home: Resistance, Migration and Contradiction that runs until October.

The show features video portraits and photographic work that challenge the meaning of “home” in a world that keeps refining homophobic and racist oppression.

The Star interviewed two of the activists from Uganda and Kenya. The following is an edited version of the interviews.

Adrian Jjuuko, executive director of the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum in Uganda:

Most people in Uganda have only come to hear about LGBTQ people of recent. It was not something commonly talked about 15 or so years ago.

The government has enacted very oppressive laws since homosexuality is seen as a threat to the survival of the country. That is state-backed homophobia, buttressed by ignorance.

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