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The Pretoria-Marburg Queer Conversations: Scholarly and Activist Perspectives on LGBTIQ+ Lived Realities in Africa

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Background

The Centre for Human Rights (CHR) and the Centre for Sexualities, AIDS, and Gender (CSA&G) at the University Pretoria together with the Center for Gender Studies and Feminist Futures (CGS) and the Center for Conflict Studies (CCS) at the Philipps-University Marburg are launching the first edition of the Pretoria-Marburg Queer Conversations which will be held monthly from April to September 2022.

The conversations emanate from a convergence of interests in the work on LGBTIQ+ and queer identities among the centres. While the CHR is invested in human rights education in Africa, the CSA&G advances gender, sexuality, health and HIV as key aspects in imagining and re-imagining diversity and inclusivity. The two centres based at the Philipps-University Marburg, the CGS and the CCS, are interdisciplinary institutions engaged in teaching, research, and knowledge transfer in gender studies and peace and conflict respectively.

Issues

While there has been significant social, legal, and political progress in many African countries with regards to the free expression of sexual orientation and gender identity in recent times, discrimination, physical and psychological violence is still pervasive - even in decriminalised contexts. Scholars and activists in different fields concerned with Queer- and LGBTIQ+ studies have been systematising existing data, identifying gaps in the political, legal, and social environments, and proposing new models for deepening the recognition and acceptance of queer identities in Africa. Yet, much knowledge remains untapped and concepts are often thought from a western/mainstream perspective - falling short of acknowledging the lived realities of LGBTIQ+ persons in African contexts. The event series explores intersections of knowledge-production and -transfer between diverse scholarly and activist spheres and herewith contributes to methodological, conceptual, and normative aspects of centering LGBTIQ+ rights and lived realities in manifold African contexts.

This six-event series, themed: ‘Scholarly and Activist Perspectives on LGBTIQ+ Lived Realities in Africa'’ creates a monthly space for in-depth discussions on topics such as ‘queering coming out’, ‘colonial legacies of anti-LGBTIQ+ rights’, and ‘queering perspectives on power dynamics’. The discussion sessions will bring together scholars from various disciplines and renowned LGBTIQ+ activists from the continent. The panellists will shed light on the particular topics from their disciplinary and professional perspectives and engage in an interactive conversation with participants at the events.

The Centre for Sexualities, AIDS and Gender based at the University of Pretoria recognises that a strategic and context-driven set of intervention strategies and research activities on sexualities, AIDS and gender must engage with individual behaviour dynamics, social and meaning processes, and structural enablers and barriers, to have the greatest impact. The CSA&G views gender and sexualities as key to debates and practices around an inclusive sexual citizenship, in an open society, in the context of an emerging democracy with greater calls for accountability and active citizenship.

The Centre for Human Rights is an internationally recognised university-based institution dedicated to advancing human rights, particularly in Africa, through education, research and advocacy. Our research and advocacy projects focus on giving effect to the rights of disadvantaged or marginalised persons or groups across the continent. Through its Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and External Sexual Characteristics Unit, the Centre works with local and international stakeholders to ensure that LGBTIQ+ persons in Africa can live lives of dignity and freedom.

The Center for Conflict Studies at the Philipps-University Marburg is an interdisciplinary institution that engages in teaching, research and knowledge transfer in the field of Peace and Conflict Studies. The complex dynamics of conflict and peace processes in different societies and world regions are at the core of our research. We publicly discuss our research and engage in exchanges with different actors in the political arena and civil society as well as those affected by conflicts.

The Center for Gender Studies and Feminist Futures strengthens and raises the profile in women's and gender studies at the Philipps-University Marburg through coordinating, networking, and by consolidating interdisciplinary activities in various fields of research and teaching. The specific profile of the Center is based on its focus on changes of gender relations, in multiple dimensions and its links with other components of societal transformation processes as well as the emphasis placed on questions concerning the future.


Previous Pretoria-Marburg Queer Conversations

These conversations emanate from a convergence of interests in the work on LGBTIQ+ and queer identities among the Centre for Human Rights, CSA&G and Center for Conflict Studies (CCS) at the Philipps-University Marburg.

Queering Coming Out: Nuances Among Queer Individuals in South Africa


Pretoria-Marburg Queer Conversations: Scholarly and Activist Perspectives on LGBTIQ+ Lived Realities in Africa

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Threats to Human Rights for LGBTIQ+ Communities: Hate Crimes and Conversion Therapy

Pretoria-Marburg Queer Conversations: Scholarly and Activist Perspectives on LGBTIQ+ Lived Realities in Africa

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The Colonial Legacies of Anti-LGBTIQ+ Rights in African States

Pretoria-Marburg Queer Conversations: Scholarly and Activist Perspectives on LGBTIQ+ Lived Realities in Africa

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Theorising Violence and Abuse Within LGBTIQ+ Relationships

Pretoria-Marburg Queer Conversations: Scholarly and Activist Perspectives on LGBTIQ+ Lived Realities in Africa

Read More

Program


Pretoria-Marburg team

Dr Ayodele Sogunro – coordinator
Centre for Human Rights
University of Pretoria
  ayodele.sogunro@up.ac.za

Dr Justice Medzani – coordinator
Centre for Sexualities, Aids and Gender
University of Pretoria
  justice.medzani@up.ac.za

Dr Mariel Reiss – coordinator
Center for Conflict Studies
Philipps-University of Marburg

  mariel.reiss@uni-marburg.de

Thiruna Naidoo – communications, logistics and technical support
Centre for Human Rights
University of Pretoria

  thiruna.naidoo@up.ac.za

Andini Putri Hasanah – communication support & rapporteur
University of Marburg
  uk082656@student.uni-kassel.de

Naledi Mpanza - logistics support
Centre for Sexualities, Aids, and Gender
University of Pretoria
  naledi.mpanza@up.ac.za

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