Accepted paper:

Subverting the norm: journey towards queer visibility


Edna Olondo (University Of Nairobi)

Paper short abstract:

Sexuality in general is usually viewed as a taboo topic in Africa.This therefore implies that issues revolving around the queer really traverse what is considered normal on the continent. This paper attempts to look at queer life narratives from various individuals in Kenya.

Paper long abstract:

African literary scene has seen the emergence of life writing as a literary genre. This is a way of sharing life experiences, immortalizing the self and an attempt towards self-portraiture.Seldom do writers delve into the issue of sexuality in the process of writing about the self as it is a sensitive topic.With the dominance of heterosexuality, it is even more sensitive to venture into the queer self.Kevin Mwachiro, a Kenyan writer, however gives us a glimpse into the lives of some members of the queer community in Kenya as a representation of the fluidity of sexuality that characterizes the continent.This paper aims to study how self writing have been used to counter the narrative of heterosexuality and to show how through writing, individuals from the continent acquire a space to be both African and queer. My paper will be based on Invisible: Stories from Kenya's queer community by Kevin Mwachiro.I will attempt to show how the queer identity traverses race, religion, space and social standing and how the sharing of queer stories helps the individuals to come out and reclaim their identity.

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Social Anthropology
African LGBTQ activisms: queer counter narratives and arts of resistance