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2 November 2013

African Sexualities at Africa in Motion 2013


By Paula Martone

The 30th October evening at Africa in Motion was dedicated to African sexualities and religion. The first film screened was God Loves Uganda, an astonishing testimony of the impact of the American Evangelical Church in Ugandan society and politics. By interviewing and following missionaries’ activities in Uganda, the connection of this movement with the existent homophobic ideas in the country were genially depicted by Roger Ross Williams.

The film was followed by a panel discussion with the great participation of some guests coming from very different backgrounds: Crispin Buxton, the field producer of the film, shared with the audience the goals of this project and the difficulties encountered while shooting the movie. Prossy Kakooza, an Ugandan LGBT activist who got the asylum in the UK due to the challenges she faced in Uganda as a lesbian woman, gave us the perspective of someone who lived in her own flesh the reality portrayed by God Loves Uganda. Barbara Bompiani, senior lecturer at the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh, added an interesting academic point of view to the discussion. Finally, David Cecil, founder of the Tilapia Cultural Centre in Kampala and deported to the UK when he produced a theatre play with a gay protagonist, explained his personal experience living in Ugandan society. The audience had a rather active participation at the discussion and interesting topics were raised.

The second part of the evening was focused on South Africa and the problems black lesbians suffer in this country. Difficult Love, a film made by Zanele Muholi and Peter Goldsmid, gave the audience an intimate vision about the lives, dreams and fears of black lesbians in South Africa. We were delighted with Zanele Muholi’s attendance to the screening and participation to a Q&A session afterwards. During the interview, Zanele explained the importance visual activism has in her life and the necessity of South Africans in particular and Africans in general to create their own narratives and visual documents about their everyday life realities.

We are very grateful to our guests and the audience for their contribution and hope to meet all of them next year again! The whole event was kindly sponsored by the Centre of African Studies and the Sexuality, Politics, Religion in Africa (SPRA) Leverhulme Trust research project, both of them from the University of Edinburgh.

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