In this Issue #0: Launching African Feminist Standpoint: CAL@10

 

We are very excited to present to you issue #0 of what we plan on making a regular and popular feature for African feminists! African Feminist Standpoint is hosting and will host a variety of media through an online hub. At the Coalition of African Lesbians, we see the production of media and knowledge as an important tool to advance women’s rights, feminist movement building and solidarity between activists across the continent. Through publishing content produced by and for African feminists, we also hope with this project to support our contributors in experimenting and learning with us: to reflect, analyse, build and play with the various forms of media this platform offers and to amplify the voices of LBQ women. Interested in contributing to the next issue? See our call for submission.

In this issue, we are publishing texts that were produced in 2015 around CAL’s 10th anniversary. We are taking a little step back to reacquaint ourselves with our history and to examine our challenges, struggles and successes before moving forward in 2019. Janet Shapiro, Madelene Isaacks and Donna AM Smith provide invaluable insights into the beginnings of CAL as a formal coalition: read more in Planting a seed, From ALA to CAL, and A radi-CAL journey.

Fikile Vilakazi and Dawn Cavanagh, both former directors of CAL, reflect on the successes and challenges of the first ten years of CAL’s activism, their vision firmly directed towards the future of the organisation. In Defending the Dream, Fikile reminds us that the “essence of the dream has been to make power visible in its various forms and assert that power is everywhere in our lives. It must be surfaced, confronted, challenged, claimed, shared and used for the benefit of everyone and not just a few individuals and groups”. Dawn Cavanagh sees opportunities in moving beyond the politics of identity and single issue struggles that define some of the movements we are working in: go in depth in The CAL Footprint.

Fadzai Maparutsa and Kagure Mugo’s analyses on human rights on the continent and the intersections between sexual and reproductive health and rights and African values are still relevant today in regard to the ongoing struggles around CAL’s observer status and the independence of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Finally, we can not talk about activism without a bit of poetry, love, crushes and personal stories! Hop over the following links to read poems by  Mafe07, Elizabeth |Khaxas, Makhosazana Xaba, Maweunoia and Rosibiwords. And, to round off, lose - or find! - yourselves in the personal stories of our feminist crushes: Sheena Gimase Magenya, Amanda Hodgeson, Shamim Salim, Gigi Louisa, Tjipo Portia Tshegofatso Loeto, Yvonne Oduor and Afrika.

Happy reading!

Today

Today You have spoken Africa Yesterday…rolling stone… red pepper… * Declared… Kill them …Hunt them down… Today… You have publicly refused…. Africa You have commissioned… Never again… Shall I be Hunted…Killed… Not in your name… Africa… Shall I be Raped…Tortured…Arrested…Again… […]

we are everywhere!

During my political detention in Apartheid South Africa, the questions from the security police revolved around their stereoptypes of what lesbians are all about. They questioned me about a co-treason trialist: ‘Is she a lesbian? Does she have cats?’ They […]

Come

I want to sit on your lap with my legs around your waist. In a basket: beads, combs, oil and shells, so I can play with your hair. I want to massage your scalp with oil until my ngers feel […]

Our Ideas

We arrived in all our colours We connected in many languages For clarity and emphasis We added our hands and other body parts When we disagreed, we reminded ourselves that Our continent comes in many more colours Than those of […]
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