The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, has launched a new photobook series titled Looking through the prism: Narratives of queer dignity in South Africa featuring photographs and narratives of the lives of LGBTIQ+ persons living in South Africa. Volume 1 of the series has been published online this October, which is also the South African Pride Month, commemorating the anniversary of the first Lesbian and Gay Pride March in Africa and held in October 1990 in Johannesburg.
Looking through the prism provides some insight as to the evolution of queer dignity in South Africa and the impact of the current LGBTIQ+ rights protection framework. The themes covered in the series include perspectives on queerness, self-expression, and sexual and gender diversity through personal reflections and recollections. The series also celebrates the lives of LGBTIQ+ people in post-apartheid South Africa with a view to sharing their uniqueness and everydayness in the South African context with the wider public. Despite the existence of extensive legal protections for LGBTIQ+ rights in South Africa, there is still a need for positive change in knowledge, attitudes, and practice in addressing LGBTIQ+ issues and concerns by the general public and policymakers for the better enjoyment of rights by LGBTIQ+ persons.
Looking through the prism was developed and produced by the SOGIESC Unit of the Centre for Human Rights and edited by Thiruna Naidoo and Dr Ayodele Sogunro and will be published online in several volumes. Volume 1 of the series, featuring the stories of eight individuals, is now available for download.