Wednesday, May 28, 2014

HUMA to host "Queer in Africa: Confronting the Crisis" symposium

We closed off Dr Zethu Matebeni - Researcher for the Institute for Humanities in Africa at UCT. As part of Africa Month celebrations, the Institute for Humanities in Africa is hosting Queer in Africa: Confronting the crisis, a symposium and festival from tomorrow till the 2nd of June 2014. The event includes an exhibition, discussions and performances addressing the current backlash against homosexuality on the African continent.

The official opening by Prof Thandabantu Nhlapo on Thursday the 29th of May 2014 at 18h00 at the Centre for African Studies (CAS) Gallery will be preceded by afternoon performances at the steps to Jameson Hall and at the Old Zoo on UCT Upper Campus. Dr Stella Nyanzi of Makerere University, Uganda, will be the guest speaker at the opening event.

On Friday the 30th of May at 13h00 Huma leads a discussion on ‘How and what is queer about Africa, and why now?’ This discussion focuses on two key texts recently published, Queer African Reader and Queer Africa: New and collected fiction. South African writer and poet Makhosazana Xaba and Kenyan queer writer and academic Dr Keguro Macharia will discuss how queerness opens up possibilities for diverse expressions in the continent.

The evening event on Friday the 30th of May at 18h15 at the Labia on Orange Street will include a film screening and a discussion on Woubi Chéria 1998 documentary film on the gay and transgender community in Ivory Coast.

A walkabout and book discussion with artists and contributors to the exhibition and Reclaiming Afrikan book launch takes place on Saturday the 31st of May at 11h30 at the CAS gallery. UCT Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price will open the symposium on Monday the 2nd of June (09h00 – 17h00) and Prof Vasu Reddy (HSRC) will give the keynote address. At the symposium scholars and activists from Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Ghana, Zimbabwe, DRC, and South Africa will deliberate on responses to the crisis in Africa. Panel discussions will be on religion, tradition and culture; law, human rights and LGBTI issues; and activist responses to legislating on the body and gender. The final session will be a poetry reading by Nigerian author, Unoma Azuah, at Bolo Bolo in Observatory. Attendance at Queer in Africa: Confronting the crisis is free and open to everyone. For more information visit or contact Dr Matebeni at Huma on (021) 650 4592 alternatively send an email to

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