Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Africa LGBTIQ

WSF, betrayal and whats it all about?

So much is happening and the internet connections are slow and with power cuts as well it is very very frustrating. Yesterday a group of Kenyans held a demonstration outside the media center complaining about the cost of food, the cost of entry, the corporate sponsorship of CellNet and Kenya Air. Food is expensive and entry at 450shillings for low income and unemployed is prohibitive – there should at least be some means tested entry charges or grass roots groups get in free.

It is disappointing to find that despite a strong presence of women that women’s perspectives and interests seem to be so under represented broadly. Whilst it is exciting to be amongst such diverse activists around the world however the NGO and UN presence is very strong and one gets a sense that the grassroots groups are not being heard above the noise of the mainstream. The presence of corporate sponsors, lack of infrastructure despite huge sums of money donated for the WSF to Kenya is unacceptable at such an event.

I met some of my colleagues from the Niger Delta – Enviornmental Rights Action and those podcasts will be put on Pambazuka over the next few days if we have enough power to upload them. This was an example of a small group trying to speak to their issue – their room was changed without notice, they had no microphones, no clip charts available it was pathetic. In fact not one single workshop I have heard about has had microphones or clip charts. Many workshops dont happen either because no one turns up or they just get lost in the mass of happenings.

This morning cultural activist, Gabrielle Le Roux who is drawing the portraits that go with some of the Pambazuka podcasts I have done was drawing a young HIV+ woman when she had to be rushed to hospital and will probably fly back to SA tonight. She is part of a group of the Rural Women’s Movement, the most marginalised and disposed of post apartheid South Africa. Women that have been betrayed, sold out and forgotten. When an ANC activist who put her life on the line during the struggle tells you people were at least not starving under apartheid you get an idea of the betrayal involved.

I also interviewed a young woman agricultural activist from Kwa Zulu Natal who had done amazing things with rural women despite huge obstacles – I will write that up tonight. 90% of the women are HIV+, many are widows, many have been evicted from their family homes by husbands and relatives because they are blamed for spreading HIV – more on that later

3 Comments

  1. Clair

    Great to get your reflections from this event….nothing in the UK press about WSF just the ‘new’ TB scare in SA. The vidcasts were inspiring and uplifting, more please if the IT system will allow.

    love Clair

  2. you are doing great work and am very sad that i cannot take part in all of this :(. i want to post, but i feel like i’d be interrupting your narrative on the WSF!

  3. I’m new to this blog, and am impressed with the work you’re doing, especially the notion of reflecting WHILE doing activist work.

    I’d love to see more videocasts. Thanks for your thoughts.

    (BTW: what is “URI”? Is it the same as URL?”