The Wits Centre for Diversity Studies is coordinating an exhibition-intervention, entitled Queer & Trans Art-iculations: Collaborative art for social change that will jointly-exhibit Zanele Muholi’s Mo(u)rning and Gabrielle Le Roux’s Proudly African & Transgender and Proudly Trans in Turkey that will speak to the need for locally situated knowledge and action around issues of sexual orientation and gender identity in the post-/de-colonial world. Queer & Trans Art-iculations will run from January 29th – March 31st, 2014 at the Wits Arts Museum and the exhibited works will open opportunities to engage the South African public in art, activism, and academic thought in ways that challenge dominant ways of thinking about sexuality and gender for purposes of promoting social justice.

The submission deadline for the journal is March 31st, 2014.

A 2-day colloquium, Collaborative art-activism: a tool for decolonizing genders and sexualities in the global south will be held as the primary event through which artists, activists, and academics can come together to engage the exhibition and one another across the boundaries of academia and civil society. The focus of the colloquium, as the main event that will engage the exhibition, is to problematize the notion of the gender binary and hetero-normativity in the context of SA’s Constitutional commitments to sexual and gender rights, and post-colonial African contexts more broadly. Johannesburg has a vibrant community of activists, artists, and scholars who are engaged with queer and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex theory and activism. The colloquium sets out to further this already lively dialogue and to further problematise the gender binary and hetero-normativity in contemporary Global South contexts. The colloquium is also envisioned as an opportunity for Muholi and Le Roux’s works to be brought into conversation with one another in order to open up questions of how the gender binary is policed in an African, de-/post-colonial contexts, and the socially imposed consequences of transgressing it. Both collections raise important questions of how sexual and gender categories operate in relation to other socially constructed categories of class, race and citizen status.

The format of the presentations may range from academic to creative work. A guiding principle of this special issue is “not speaking for, but speaking with”. This means actively developing a practice of deep listening to people who speak from lived experience (and are most often spoken for) as a basis to engage in further dialogue and action.

We are therefore requesting that all participants to present in accessible language as a way to ensure that the colloquium is interesting and accessible for all participants.

The colloquium will take place at Wits University on March 6-7 2014 from 9:00-17:00.
Selected papers presented at the colloquium will be published in a special edition of Agenda entitled, Queer & Trans Art-iculations: Decolonizing genders and sexualities in the global South. The call is also open to those who could not participate in the colloquium but are engaged with these issues.

We invite submissions on topics that include, but are not limited to:

  • Art-activism engaging issues of gender and sexuality social justice in the Global South
  • The gender binary and hetero-normativity as colonial ideology
  • Critical analyses of Muholi and Le Roux’s work
  • How to survive materially and ethically as art-activists/activists/academics working in the fields of queer/trans/intersex issues inside and outside of the donor/NGO industrial complex
  • Collaborative work: Who may represent whom and who decides? Insiders and outsiders – addressing race, class, (cis)gender privilege
  • Sex and gender based hate crime, murder, and dehumanization
  • Creative and academic works exploring the gender binary and hetero-normativity in local contexts.

See Editorial Policy for  submission details