Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Black & White, Crea(c)tive Senses, Photography, Transformation of Silence, Travels, Words

Queer like the fearlessness to imagine

Gandhi on InfoActivism

The importance of speech is not the age of the words but the truth they speak so here I choose the timeless words of Audre Lorde.

In becoming forcibly and essentially aware of my own mortality, and of what I wished and wanted for in my life, however short it might be, priorities and omissions became strongly etched in a merciless light and what I most regretted were my silences. Of what had ever been afraid? To question or to speak as I believed I would have meant pain, or death. But we all hurt in so many different ways, all the time, and pain will either change or end. Death, on the other hand, is the final silence. And that might be coming quickly, now, without regard for whether I had ever spoken what needed to be said, or only betrayed myself into small silences, while I planned someday to speak, or waited for someone else’s words. And I began to recognize a source of power within myself that comes from the knowledge that while it is most desirable not to be afraid, learning to put fear into a perspective gave me great strength.   “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action” 

The photos presented here are the first in a series of short photo essays on the transformation of silence into action whether through  speech, words, images or performance. The photographed are those who speak truth to power, and for whom being Black African Intersectional Feminists is a way of life and a way of surviving. I drew inspiration for this series from an article by Kui Kihoro Mackay and by these first photos of  Blessol Gathoni, a  Queer Social Rights Activist.  In conversation with Gathoni they talked about seeing,  not just perspectives, scopes and lens but seeing in real depth. Here I see and Gathoni sees, that I see.

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All the photos were taken in Brasilia during the Marcha Das Mulheres Negras, the week of 18th November, 2015. 

As Africans,
In as much as we are separated, killed, taken
We will remain

This land- with its heart, pulse, and arteries, rivers,
landscapes and seas of stories that entail lifetimes
informed by generations of our people- will remain.

I have come to realize there are no “specific/ absolute”
routes to connecting with your ancestry, just a willingness
to take a walk, share and be with them.
Acknowledge their struggle. And the many ways we are
entangled in these struggles.

Give or offer a continuity to them.
In whatever ways you (we) can.”

To Sokari:
Remain well, loved and free
Gathoni JBlessol
Queer Social Rights Activist


*Title  credit – Decolonize The Queer