Jonah Batambuze is a Ugandan-American activist and self-taught interdisciplinary artist born in Chicago and raised in the cornfields of central Illinois. His artwork is often participatory, centers marginalized identities and focuses on solidarity-building at the intersection of Black x Brown cultures. By highlighting shared historical experiences and love, Batambuze uses social media, stimulating sensory installations and rituals to inspire unity.
In 2001, after a successful collegiate basketball career, Batambuze studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland. During this trip, Batambuze met a South Indian princess who later became his wife.
In 2017, Batambuze founded a social impact media platform and global community called the #BlindianProject, after reading an Al-Jazeera article about street mobs attacking Africans in New Delhi. The project aims to normalize Black x Brown relationships and dismantle anti-Blackness wherever it exists.
Later, Batambuze self-published When We See Ourselves // Black x Brown love in June 2021. The book features ten diverse stories and journaling prompts to unlearn stereotypes/biases and is considered essential reading for anyone who intends to contribute to an equitable society.
Since establishing the #BlindianProject, Batambuze’s work has been featured by: BBC World News, The Times of India, The Washington Post/The Lily, Fatherly, ITV London, and other publications. In addition, the brand has collaborated with institutions such as Tara Theatre, Stanford University, and the London Stock Exchange, amongst others. Jonah lives in Peterborough with his wife, son, and daughter.
During Batambuze’s residency with Metal, he will continue his research of artists such as Theaster Gates and Thomas Hirschorn, network with local/national/international organizations striving for similar aspirations, and continue developing a new body of work (untitled).