FannyAnn Eddy was an outspoken activist for LGBT rights in Sierra Leone and throughout Africa, where LGBT individuals regularly suffer harassment, discrimination, and violence. In 2002, Eddy founded the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association as a means of providing social and psychological support to the underground community. FannyAnn represented her cause at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva in 2004 advocating the passing of the Brazilian Resolution. Tragically later that year, FannyAnn was brutally raped and murdered by several men while working late in her office one night. Human Rights Watch and the New York-based International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission vocalized the need for Eddy’s assailants to be brought to justice by Sierra Leone’s government to send a message that homophobic attacks would not go unpunished. A former janitor of Eddy’s association was charged with her murder although he escaped police custody while awaiting trial. FannyAnn was just 30 years old and left behind a 10 year old son.
Illustration by Johnny Selman
After the start of the Sierra Leone’s civil war, youth groups known as odelay societies began producing political and historical art in form of lanterns, an item which has become a part of Sierra Leone’s modern artistic expression at annual festivals. FannyAnn’s portrait is a lantern constructed with a similar technique and photographed in house.
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Unitary Presidential constitutional republic