Ugandan artist challenges church homophobia

Pic: Moses Serugo / Facebook

Photo: Moses Serugo / Facebook

A Ugandan artist has daringly included an artwork addressing Christian homophobia in his new exhibition in Kampala.

Paul Ndema’s colourful piece shows a woman wearing a sleeveless t-shirt that proclaims: “I love gals that love Jesus.”

The painting is on display at the Margaret Trowell Gallery at Makerere University.

According to the gallery’s website, “Ndema seeks to question and investigate Christianity” with his Obvious Things exhibition.

The artist said that he is a Christian but an “intelligent” one and that “The Bible was not meant to be a book of facts.”

Ndema told The Observer that the painting is “lashing out at Christians that judge gay people as unholy.”

He further explained that the artwork is calling for Christians to treat one another equally even if they do not share the same beliefs about sexual orientation.

Ndema said that while the church has depicted gay people as evil beings who deserve death, “some of these people actually pray to God.”

Born in Bushenyi district in western Uganda in 1979, Ndema studied art at the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts at Makerere University.

The striking work will be on display at the gallery until the 5th of December.

Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and is punishable with life in prison. Christian churches in the country have actively supported the criminalisation of homosexuality and were major supporters of the notorious Anti-Homosexuality Act.

The law was ultimately struck down by Uganda’s Constitutional Court on a technicality last year.

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