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As has been shown by research in the social sciences and human sciences, homosexuality certainly existed in Africa during the pre-colonial and imperial periods. Historical, sociological and anthropological research has since allowed a greater understanding of the position held by homosexuality in African societies at different points in time. This research, part of the gradual recognition of equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI) in North America and Continental Europe has also documented the increasingly pronounced stigmatisation of the LGBTI community in Africa.

The Lolendo series of photographs takes its name from the Lingala word for ‘pride’. The series presents portraits of LGBTI people, whose existence is currently denied in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There, homosexuality is not cracked down on by the law, however, unlike in the past, Congolese society now views it with hostility, believing it to be something ‘immoral’, introduced from the West. The stigmatisation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI) takes the form of discrimination in access to healthcare even though the DRC is one of the countries with the highest incidence of AIDS.

See also