In honor of LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, the Escalette Permanent Collection of Art in Wilkinson College would like to feature the work and life of Rotimi Fani-Kayode, a Nigerian-British photographer who used his art to capture the black queer experience, to reject homophobia, and to fight for equal political representation during the AIDS crisis.
Fani-Kayode was born in 1955 in Lagos, Nigeria, where his father was a politician and chieftain of Ife, the ancestral Yoruba capital. At age 11, Kayode and his family fled to Brighton, England to escape the Nigerian Civil War. He is also the founder of Autograph a nonprofit organization that helps black and minority photographers build their careers. Fani-Kayode created much of his work during the height of the AIDS crisis in response to the homophobia he witnessed in England under Margaret Thatcher and in his home country of Nigeria.