The Face On Project is an digital storytelling platform founded by MaryLize Biubwa, a Lesbian Queer activist from Kenya who hopes to tell the stories of LGBTIQ+ Kenyans through photography and writing on Instagram. As the name suggests, Face On features the faces of Queer Kenyans often forced behind the shadows.
How would you describe the FACE ON Project?
Marylize Biubwa: In a nutshell, FACE ON PROJECT is a rebellion. In Kenya, the societal cultures and conditions demand that Queer persons hide, be ashamed, and feel afraid of their identities; that they should never speak about who they are. All of this is
backed up by laws that criminalize our existence and intimacy. So our objective is to put faces of those Queer persons who are out and proud in the open with no shame or fear.
This is a platform where we celebrate the lives of Queer Kenyans in a world that wants to eradicate our existence. Aside from that and for future use, the project is a research and data collection centered project. By hearing the stories of Queer folk, we learn how we should pay attention to them and their lives.
Amandla: What inspired you to start this project?
Marylize Biubwa: I started it to merge two worlds: the world of the homophobic heterosexual persons who invalidate the existence of Queer folk.
Heterosexual people say phrases like "don't be too loud" or "why must you people tell us of your queerness, we don't go around talking about us being straight" without understanding that that is their privilege, and their lack of awareness of it is what is affecting the lives of Queer folk. So merging these two worlds and allowing this project to be a form of activism on addressing homophobia, Biphobia, transphobia, and all types of Queerphobia.
Connect with Marylize @Biubwa on queerafricannetwork.com