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Skeiv Afrika (Queer Africa)


Yithi Laba, asisoze sijike noba kutheni na!
(This is Us, we will never change, no matter what)

On the weekend of the 5th to the 7th of June 2015,
a group of young black lesbians was gathered in solidarity
at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg, South Africa.
What was once a Women’s goal – a space of torture;
became a space of activist education, skill sharing, support
and re-writing of a homosexual and female bodied history.
An inter-generational conversation took place between born frees,
big sister lesbians and our mothers.

Inkanyiso le, siyayithandazela!
(This is Inkanyiso, which we are praying for)

On the 19th of June 2015,
a group of black women from South Africa landed in Oslo, Norway.
The Inkanyiso media team came in collaboration with Kunstplass [10]
for the documentation of black queer existence in spaces beyond Africa.
A cross cultural, interracial and inter-professional conversation
on archiving a perturbed being.

Senzeni na?
(What are we guilty of?)

On the 20th of June 2015, a young, black lesbian was raped by three men;
then beaten and left for dead in her home town of Cradock, South Africa.
We thank God today that she is alive,
that she is not pregnant and that she is not HIV positive.
She was raped for defending her homosexuality.
On the 20th of June 2015, the intersectionality of structural oppression
had a transwoman of colour reminding us
that our black skin will always bottom line us to ‘living on borrowed time’.
The average age of a black transwoman in America is 35 years old.
The average age of a black lesbian woman in South Africa is 22 years old.
None of our struggles is any more urgent than the other, in solidarity we stand,
we are all victims to some kind of crime against humanity.

Malibongwe igama lamakhosikazi!
(Women must be praised)

On the 21st of June, a black lesbian from South Africa reminded us
of the need for us to co-operate in facing the realities of our violence(s) towards each other.
The realities that the past inflictions of war on my being,
still haunt my daily interaction with you.
When do we hold hands to become the same voice about our common struggles?

On the 23rd of June 2015,
a black transwoman from America
introduced a space of healing to us where conversations of reform
were emphasized around
‘how we are hurting others and ourselves’,
‘what we are healing from’
and ‘how we are engaging in collective healing’.
On the 25th of June,
a young black lesbian performed a piece on resilience
in Oslo during International LGBTI Pride month
‘Ode to the Young Black Lesbian’
dedicated to her fellow young black lesbians
to remember that their lives are worth more than the pain
that hate crime has defined them as.

Thula Mama, thula mama, thula mama…
(Hush mama, hush mama, hush mama)

On the 29th of June 2015,
The African country of Mozambique
celebrated the decriminalization of homosexuality
with the erasure of a Portuguese colonial law
Dating back to 1886 that could condemn anyone
“who habitually engages in vices against nature”
to three years’ hard labour.

Remember these words


Remember these names

  • Lindeka Qampi
  • Lourdes Ashley Hunter
  • Collen Mfazwe
  • Isah Rakeem
  • Lerato Dumse
  • Henriette Stendsal
  • Zanele Muholi
  • Vibeke Hermanrud
  • Linn Cecille Uvin
  • Fikile Vilakazi
  • Susanne Øvergaard
  • H.E Ambassador Queen Anne Zondo

For Visual Activism and Cultural Exchange Project 2015
Inkanyiso Media. Kunstplass[10]

Oslo, Norway
© Christie van Zyl 2015




Copyright: Kunstplass [10]