As part of our second journalism training workshop on covering religion and SSOGIE (sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression) issues in Sub-Saharan Africa, the newly opened Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa hosted an LGBTQI+ art tour and panel on Saturday 11 November 2017. The event formed part of Zeitz MOCAA’s year-long Curatorial Lab focus on LGBTQI+ rights in South Africa and brought together representatives from civil society organizations that aim to support and advocate for the rights of the LGBTQI+ community across Africa.
The Curatorial Lab’s project strives to promote intercultural understanding of a community that has been excluded from society’s predominantly hetero-normative culture and discourse. The exhibition promotes education through the arts and develops critical thinking about gender and sexuality.
Closed tour: Queer Gender and Sexuality
This tour presented highlights from the Zeitz MOCAA opening exhibitions that feature queer South African artists whose artworks explore the notion of queer gender and sexuality. It included works by Nicholas Hlobo, Zanele Muholi, Jody Paulsen and Athi-Patra Ruga.
Panel Discussion and Q&A
The discussion allowed representatives from civil society organisations that aim to support and advocate for the rights of the LGBTQI+ community to share their experiences on grassroots activism for the protection of human rights of queer people living on the continent. The panel explored how government and laws can be challenged and held accountable for homophobic abuse, violence and social exclusion from the state and its citizens. Panelists unpacked the contradiction of state law being dismissed and ignored in society through experiences in reality.
Bella Matambanadzo, Journalist, Editor and Author
Leigh Davids, Spokesperson and Counsellor, SistaazHood
Ndumie Funda, Founder and Director, Luleki Sizwe Womyn’s Project
Nosipho Vidima, Human Rights Defender, Advocacy and Law Reform Programme, Sex Workers Education & Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT)
Sakhisizwe Gcina, AKO Foundation Assistant Curator of Special Projects, Curatorial Lab, Zeitz MOCAA
Selly Thiam, Founder and Executive Director, None on Record
Brian Pellot, Taboom Director and former Director of Global Strategy at Religion News Service & Religion News Foundation