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New Press

This Is How the Heart Beats: LGBTQ East Africa

This Is How the Heart Beats: LGBTQ East Africa

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Part of a groundbreaking series of photobooks on LGBTQ communities around the world, a moving portrait of a group of queer East Africans who fled their home countries for the United States

Same-sex relations are illegal in thirty-eight African countries, often under colonial-era laws. One of the most dangerous countries has been Uganda, which is attempting to pass an Anti-Homosexuality Bill (commonly known as the Kill the Gays bill) that seeks to broaden the criminalization of same-sex relations, making it punishable by life imprisonment and, in some instances, death.

This Is How the Heart Beats is a portrait by acclaimed photographer Jake Naughton of a group of East Africans who have fled unimaginable abuse in their homeland for the United States. One couple, Sulait and his boyfriend, had been tortured in prison in the months after the anti-homosexuality bill had been proposed and, on their release, had made their way to Kenya, where they were attacked by a mob of machete-wielding men. It was only after years in hiding that many such refugees have been resettled in the United States.

With an introduction by journalist Jacob Kushner and a foreword by Ugandan queer activist Ruth Muganzi, This Is How the Heart Beats is a record of LGBTQ forced migration unlike any other, following this community from its darkest moments to an uncertain future. At a time of great uncertainty for both LGBTQ and refugee rights, this work illuminates the stakes for those at the center of a firestorm.

Author: Jake Naughton, Jacob Kushner
Publisher: New Press
Published: 02/04/2020
Pages: 160
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 1.50lbs
Size: 9.90h x 8.00w x 0.60d
ISBN: 9781620974889

About the Author

Jake Naughton is a photojournalist and a frequent contributor to the New York Times, Atavist, BuzzFeed News, NPR, and VICE. The founding member of Black Box, a cooperative for visual documentary projects, he is based in Mexico City.
Jacob Kushner is a journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Harper's, The Atlantic, National Geographic, the New Yorker, Foreign Policy, The Guardian, and elsewhere. He reports on migration and human rights in East Africa, the Caribbean, and Germany.

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