On September 18, 2019, Taboom Director Brian Pellot spoke on the panel “Who is the message for? Communicating strategically to win public hearts and minds” at The Other Foundation’s Kopano at the Cradle of Humankind in South Africa.
The panel assessed how LGBTQI+ activists frame their public messaging and how such messaging is received by their audiences while exploring opportunities for more strategic messaging.
Moderator: Lame Olebile
Panelists: Brian Ligomeka – Centre for Solutions Journalism (Malawi); Brian Pellot – Taboom Media (South Africa); Carla Sutherland – Independent Consultant (USA); Stephen Matenga – National Association of Freelance Journalists (Zimbabwe).
Kopano, meaning a family gathering to address an important issue in seSotho – provides a once-every-two-year collective strategy development space in which a range of LGBTQI+ activists and allies come together to critically analyze changes that have happened in southern Africa’s social, economic, and political context as well as in the LGBTQI+ movements in the region; consider the best ways to evolve in advancing equality, freedom, and social inclusion for LGBTQI+ people in the region; learn from each other; and develop strong relationships of solidarity.
Each kopano is a space where people, ideas, and places meet to catalyze change at a particular time and in a particular context. It combines panel discussions that frame smaller group discussions and deliberations; keynote presentations by guest speakers; self-organized spaces for discussants to network and caucus; an exhibition space, providing discussants with creative ways to share their work; and public events including opening and closing receptions to enable strong relationship building amongst discussants and the broader LGBTQI+ and ally community.
Over four days, about 200 participants from across southern Africa and abroad convened at the Cradle of Humankind for Kopano, expanding space for LGBTQI+ activism in southern Africa.