Zethu Matebeni (eds.)
A collection of essays and images, Scholarly archival and critical work.
Reclaiming Afrikan: Queer Perspectives on Sexual and Gender Identities is a collaboration and collection of art, photography and critical essays interrogating the meanings and everyday practices of queer life in Africa today. In Reclaiming Afrikan authors, activists and artists from Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya and South Africa offer fresh perspectives on queer life; how gender and sexuality can be understood in Africa as ways of reclaiming identities in the continent. Africa is known to be harsh towards people with non-conforming genders and sexual identities. It is within this framework that Reclaiming Afrikan exists to respond to such violations and to offer alternative ways of thinking and being in the continent. The book appropriates “Afrika” and “queer” to affirm sexual identities that are ordinarily shamed and violated by prejudice and hatred. The use of “k” in Afrika signals an appropriation of an identity and belonging that is always detached from a “queer” person. “Queer” in this book is understood as an inquiry into the present, as a critical space that pushes the boundaries of what is embraced as normative. The artists and authors included in this text are “queer” themselves and occupy spaces that speak back to hegemony. For many, this position challenges various norms on gender, sexuality, and existence and offers a subversive way of being.