It started as a one year project and ended up taking us three years but finally Hakima and I are able to announce the publication of the Queer African Reader published by Fahamu Books.
A richness of voices, a multiplicity of discourses, a quiverful of arguments. African queers writing for each other, theorizing ourselves, making our movements visible. This is a book we have hungered for. – – Shailja Patel award-winning Kenyan poet and activist, author of Migritude
All too often we read about African queers as monolithically victimized or as passive recipients of modernity from the West. What a great antidote The Queer African Reader provides to that narrative, with its diversity of styles, stories, memoirs, scholarly theory, art, photography, and deliciously combative polemics and petitions as rich as the diversity of Africans themselves! Listen to the poetry, feel the passion — love, rage, sadness, pride — admire the beauty, grow from the insights of Africans speaking directly to us about their struggles to be true to themselves, to their families, their lovers, their nations. This brave volume should be essential reading for all human rights activists far and wide in Africa and the Diaspora. Professor Marc Epprecht, Department of Global Development Studies at Queen’s University
The Queer African Reader serves as an amazing anthology documenting the struggles faced by African LGBTI people both in Africa and in the diaspora. From personal narratives written by individuals like the late human rights defender, David Kato, to in depth academic and feminist analysis of the discourse concerning sexual orientation and gender identity in traditional African contexts, this publication contains a wealth of knowledge that can act as a starting point for various discussions concerning queer Africans around the world. Hopefully this book will allow others from all walks of life to share their unique African LGBTI experiences. – “Victor Mukasa, Ugandan human rights defender and long term LGBTI activist”
QAR is a revelatory, path-breaking collection of writings drawn from across the continent and its diaspora. Ekine and Abbas have achieved a huge task in compiling and editing 38 contributors who courageously share what it means to inhabit the precarious space that opens up between the patriarchal heteronormative regimes of the past and the radical possibilities heralded by so many personal-political struggles for sexual freedom. QAR offers timely testimonies, a bold and defiant cacophony of voices that variously subvert the sexual-political despotism that relies on normative fear and hatred to resist radical nonconforming ways of being and enjoying sexuality and desire. The first of its kind, QAR offers a rich festival of material includes analytic and expressive prose, theoretical discussions, erotic fiction, journals, documents and representations from visual and performance artists, that work to share the disquieting realities of LGBTQI experiences, contradictions and political perspectives to life. QAR is a rich resource – a milestone in the self-narration of Africa by people who will be silent no more. Essential reading for the twenty first century! Amina Mama, Professor & Director, Women and Gender Studies, University of California, Davis
Long awaited and overdue, written amidst burnout and premature death, in the front lines of Empire and gender violence, this first collection by queer Africans is no quick or easy read. The Queer African Reader demonstrates that urgency was never an excuse to leave anyone behind: unlike the depressingly streamlined movements of the global/izing north, they have ample space for impossible subjects that complicate the single story and expand who belongs in the movement and what it demands, from transgender to disability to healing. Written by and for Africans, this assembly of leading and emerging activists, artists and academics from the continent and its diasporas takes a leadership in sustainable, accountable community building that non-Africans, too, should learn from — while hearing the signal that queer and trans African have always been able to represent themselves. Jin Haritaworn PhD, trans/queer of colour activist, York University (Toronto), author ofThe Biopolitics of Mixing and co-editor ofQueer Necropolitics.
Various launches will take place in the UK, South Africa, Kenya and the US and we will announce these as they happen.