LGBT+ artists from some of the world’s most dangerous anti-gay countries have collaborated on a charity album that draws attention to the persecution they face because of their sexuality or gender identity, Attitude reports.
Rainbow Riots will feature tracks by a queer rapper from Malawi and a transgender Zulu singer as well as artists from Uganda and Jamaica—many of whom have remained anonymous to protect their safety.
The performers all live in countries where their existence as members of the LGBT+ community is under constant threat of violence or imprisonment.
One Ugandan artist who has contributed to the record says: “Our lives are already in danger – it doesn’t help if we keep quiet.”
The Rainbow Riots project was created by Swedish musician and human rights activist Petter Wallenberg, who founded a charity of the same name in 2012.
"The organisation started as a grass-roots activist movement protesting against a Stockholm booking of Jamaican artist Sizzla whose songs incite killings of LGBTQ people and have been linked to the murders of gay activists in Jamaica," the Rainbow Riots website states.
Wallenberg decided to begin recording the protest album after he attended a gay pride event in Uganda where police raided a Kampala nightclub and brutally arrested a dozen attendees.
“Imagine that your very existence is a crime and that the police, authorities and lynch mobs chase you simply because you are who you are,” said Wallenberg.
“This is reality of LGBTQ people in many countries around the world.
“I created Rainbow Riots as a movement to fight for freedom against tyranny.”
The first single from the album is called ‘Equal Rights’ and has already been featured in the UN’s Global Goals initiative.
The album is set for release on June 16.