Donnerstag, 22. Juli 2010

Interview with Sokari Ekine on the silencing of LGBTIQ struggles in Africa and the effects of gay imperialism on the continent

African Perspectives on CHRY 105.1

Sunday July 11 2010

Interview with Sokari Ekine on the silencing of LGBTIQ struggles in Africa, the effects of gay imperialism on the continent, the pink-washing of neo-colonial aid agendas, trans erasure, the racism of modernity/tradition binary, and the violence of the single story.

Introductory quotes from the interview:

I don’t see (the dominant discourse on African sexuality) as being particularly different than in other parts of the world. Yes, there are socio-economic, cultural and religious contexts, but essentially the dominant discourse around sexuality is similar to in other places, and it’s patriarchy, heteronormativity. Probably more specific to the continent is the assumption that there are no LGBTI people in Africa. And then again strong masculinities, which are played out through a kind of macho nationalism with notions of family and return to the traditional values. And.. I think one way in which the mainstream, largely white middle-class (LGBT community in the UK) have dealt with this call to a return to family and traditional values is through mainstreaming themselves through a process of homonormativity… So these things have played out in the West in slightly different ways, but at the same time they are not so different from what is actually taking place on the continent.

I would say that the factors are pretty much the same across the world. You have a growing right-wing reactionary media. You have an equally right-wing religious fundamentalism, that is very much present in the United States, but is also growing across the African continent, in fact it’s one of the largest growth industries, Christian religious fundamentalism. And this is especially in countries like Uganda, Malawi, Nigeria and South Africa. So you have that. Then you have this scapegoating of vulnerable people, which is a way of deflecting from issues such as high unemployment, poverty etc. Here in the West, the scapegoats, particularly in the US, UK, Germany are immigrants, particularly Muslim immigrants. In parts of Africa, it’s LGBTI people. They are un-African, it is un-African, we don’t want them. And it’s the same thing, in Europe it’s immigrants. Do you see the connecting points? So you have this focus of hate, which is played from different sectors, sections of the community, depending where you are and depending, you know, who is the most vulnerable in a particular location, at a particular time.


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