A lot has been said and written about Uganda’s anti-homosexuality law, signed into effect in February 2014. But it seems only few have asked the question: why now? Why, as many countries in the West are growing more accepting of homosexuality, is the Pearl of Africa moving in the opposite direction? Photographer Lee Price was intrigued. He had spent time exploring the underground world of gay cruising areas and bathhouses in the UK, places that are a by-product of the shame still associated with homosexuality in his home country. After publishing a book called “Sex With Strangers,” he applied to the IdeasTap and Magnum Photos Photographic Award with the idea of traveling to Uganda. He won the grant, which he used to spend six weeks there and produce “Against the Order of Nature.” He spoke to R&K from his home in Manchester.
Roads & Kingdoms: What were your first impressions of Uganda?
Lee Price: I had done a lot of research about the situation, read articles, and I expected it to be incredibly hostile. I thought no one would want to talk to me because of the subject matter and no one would trust me. Those expectations were met. It was hostile and it was difficult to find people to talk to. I had never been out of Europe before this trip and it was a bit of a culture shock. It’s a completely different world out there, people do things differently. I had to spend time getting to grips with cultural differences, etiquette, and it was a bit of a learning curve but I soon got into it. Six weeks was plenty of time to get that done and get some decent work. Although having said that, I wish I had stayed a little bit longer.