Leilah Babirye

    Exhibition: THE SOCRATES ANNUAL, 2018

    Tuli Mukwano (We are in Love), 2018

    Wood, metal, cement, concrete and found objects

    12 x 4 x 4 feet

    Carved with a chainsaw from a giant pine log, Leilah Babirye’s Tuli Mukwano is a dual portrait of two figures existing outside the confines of gender binaries. The title, “We are in Love” in Swahili, stands as a call for the public recognition of LGBTQI people persecuted throughout the world, from Babirye’s native Uganda to local communities within the United States.
    Leilah Babirye (b. Kampala, Uganda in 1985; lives and works in New York, NY) received her BA from Makerere University in 2011. She can be described as an abstract sculptor and mainly works with metal, plastic, rubber, and wood. Her work focuses on LGBTQ rights in Uganda and the pain experienced by the community from the anti-homosexuality bill passed in the country. Art and activism is central in her artistic practice.
    Babirye’s first solo exhibition was presented at Gordon Robichaux, New York, NY (2018). In addition, she has been featured in multiple group exhibitions, such as Let Go or Be Dragged, Gordon Robichaux, New York, NY (2017), When Things Fall Apart: Critical Voices on the Radars, Trapholt Museum, Kolding, Denmark (2016), and FIAR: Fire Island Residency Exhibition, Long Island, NY (2015), among others.
    Photography by Scott Lynch
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