AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

How do Senegalese talk about gay identities

A music video by Senegalese singer Ouzin caused some online stir in Senegal when it debuted last month on Youtube. “Beureung Barigo,” which means “rolling the barrel” in Wolof, is a mbalax style song with simple lyrics calling on listeners to 'clap' for the singer. Ouzin tells his audience that that he “doesn't know anything yet, but...

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Reimagining the image of the modern Arab man

“My aim is to unveil men in regions where most of the time, we try to unveil women.”

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

How to Please Your Man “Zambia Style”

Imagine you’re a 17 year old middle class Dutch girl. You just cycled home from another boring day at school. Trapped in the conventional humdrum of the day, you are deprived of the stirring type of high...

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Nothing to Lose? The art of Rotimi Fani-Kayode

Rotimi Fani-Kayode’s first solo show in New York opened last week. The British-Nigerian artist’s last works, large photographs of the naked male body, are on display at the Walther Collection in New York City. These are images...

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

‘Lesbians Seeing Lesbians’

The South African photographer Zanele Muholi is exhibiting some of her work–at the Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation (26 Wooster Street) as part of an exhibition of contemporary photographers, “Lesbians Seeing Lesbians: Building Community in Early Feminist Photography” Here’s...

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa

Relevant (and longish) excerpt from Anita Desai’s review of Joseph Lelyveld’s new biography, _Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India_; in The New York Review of Books; she starts with Lelyveld’s decision to start the...

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Well deserved

Before we close out the year we have to give a nod to the  Centre for Development of People (CEDEP) in Malawi, has won the 2010 AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA) HIV, TB and...

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

New Sara Baartman Film

I just finished an essay (with my research assistant Adam Esrig) on new developments in African film–most notably the business model of Nollywood, the emergence of South Africa as a cheap back lot for B-grade Hollywood films...

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Debating Sexuality in South Africa

As @ekapa correctly noted in his comment on my post about “Homophobia as National Sport” in South Africa, “… depressing as this is its a symptom/result of the increasingly vocal and visible African and Coloured...

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Homophobia as National Sport

This may make for depressing reading with your breakfast, but there’s nothing new about the entrenched  homophobia in South Africa, a place where men rape lesbians to “correct” them, a government minister last month refused to open...

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Wet Dreams

What popular images did young American males in the 1950s and 1960s–fed on a diet of parochial media–have of Arabs. For one, they took their cues from men’s adventure magazines: “… In those days, tended to...

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

KENYA TO CONDUCT “CENSUS” OF GAY POPULATION

So Uganda, with the help of their rightwing, American Christian boosters, want to “wipe out” gay people by making laws that bans even thinking about it. Now Kenya wants to do a “census” of its gay population....

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

AFRICA, AIDS AND HOMOPHOBIA

Edwin Cameron, the first openly gay judge on South Africa’s Constitutional Court (the equivalent of the US Supreme Court; try that on the US court) is in New York City next week to receive a prize (The...

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

“THERE ARE MORE [PEOPLE] WHO ARE INTERSEX THAN THERE ARE BOTSWANANS”

John Lancaster in “The London Review of Books” (a publication that is decent, except for publishing the rants of the South African neoconservative, R W Johnson) on the prejudices exposed by reactions to Caster Semenya.

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR VIRGINS ONLY

“… Literacy rates in Sierra Leone are devastatingly low, just 29 per cent among women. One of the chief culprits, as the report indicates, is teenage pregnancy. About 12 per cent of girls have their first child...

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

CASTER SEMENYA AND THE IDEA OF “NORMAL” BOYS AND GIRLS

With the media spectacle around world beating athlete Caster Semenya gaining fever pitch, South African newspaper “The Cape Times” sacrificed one of its reporters working tirelessly on inequality in South Africa, to find out how common “intersexuality”...

Friday, September 18th, 2009

VIDEO: “TO BE AFRICAN AND QUEER TODAY”

What it means to be a Black lesbian, to be a gay man or lesbian of any sort, in South Africa and on the continent more generally. South African TV clip focusing on the work of photographer...

Monday, September 14th, 2009

“THE GAY HAIRDRESSER”

A journalist at the Dutch newspaper, Die Volkskrant, has a story about his barber who turns out to be a leading gay rights campaigner who had earlier fled Zimbabwe because of hysterical homophobia there and...

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

LOVE IN AFRICA

New academic text, edited by Jennifer Cole and Lynn M. Thomas, about that stuff most Western journalists don’t write about when they write about Africa.

Friday, August 28th, 2009

“IF CASTER [SEMENYA] IS A BOY, I’M A BOY”

My friend Herman Wasserman and I wrote an op-ed for The Observers, the website of the French TV station, France24, on the manufactured controversy around Caster Semenya, the new 800 m woman’s track and field world champion:

Friday, August 21st, 2009

SEX AND RAPE: TOAST COETZER RESPONDS

Earlier this week I posted a comment by my friend, Christi van der Westhuizen, going after novelist-singer Toast Coetzer for this statement in an interview: “One probably writes about the things that you think about a lot....

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

SEX AND RAPE

The South African journalist and commentator, Christi van der Westhuizen, passed this on: An “upcoming” singer, writer and journalist with the name Toast Coetzer who gets a lot of airtime in the Afrikaans media made the following...

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

THE CHURCH ELDERS AND THE GAYS

Malawi’s Constitution Amendment Bill banning homosexual marriages was passed on Thursday July this year, during a parliamentary sitting to pass the 2009/2010 budget. During this sitting Member of parliament, Edwin Banda proposed that the constitution should include...