Living Unnoticed

13 February 2013

Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Rainbow Sunrise, an NGO founded in the city of Bukavu in 2011, plays a crucial role in offering LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) people a safe place to meet, a chance to share experiences, and sexual education. Very few support organizations exist for gay people in the DRC. The country has no explicit law against homosexuality; nevertheless there is very little social acceptance of same-sex relationships.

LGBT people are increasingly subject to discrimination and violence, and many keep their identities hidden in order to avoid assault and stigmatization. In December, a draft bill criminalizing gay sex was proposed in the DRC parliament. Supporters of the bill claim that same-sex activity is un-African, and a result of Western influence. Opponents say that such relationships existed in traditional culture, and point to harsh colonial-era laws as a source of negative attitudes.


Bukavu, Congo, The Democratic Republic of the

Technical information

Shutter speed: 1/320
ISO: 320
F-Stop: 2.0
Focal Length: 35.0 mm
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Jana Ašenbrennerová
Czech Republic
Jana Ašenbrennerová is a Czech photojournalist specializing in social documentary. After studying directing at The Film Academy of Miroslav Ondříček in Písek, she moved to the United States in 2003 to continue her education at San Francisco State University. In collaboration with nonprofit organizations, Jana documents humanitarian efforts in Africa and Asia, most recently in Democratic Republic of Congo. She dedicates most of her time to her own independent projects and freelances for Reuters.