Accepted paper:

Filming Queer Kenya: Representations of Gay/Lesbian Identities in Stories of Our Lives and Tuko Macho


Chrispinus Wasike (University of Amsterdam)

Paper short abstract:

This paper critically analyses two award-winning Kenyan films with a view of unpacking the different ways in which they explore new ways of expressing queer sexuality in Kenya. The focus is on highlighting how film as a popular culture is the new tool of fashioning queer sexuality in contemporary Kenya.

Paper long abstract:

This paper examines the renewed fashioning and making of queer sexuality through the popular culture and media format of film in Kenya. Through a critical discourse analysis of two recent Kenyan award-winning popular film texts by the Nest Collection titled, Stories of Our Lives and Tuko Macho, the paper focuses on how the film genre has become a frontier of exploring the moral boundaries and interrogating the social forms of tolerance/intolerance towards sexual minorities and queer sexuality in Kenya. In a largely homophobic social and cultural context that often limits open expression of all forms of gay/lesbian sexuality, we examine how local films have become effective tools of fashioning and envisioning new ways of enabling and flourishing same-sex relationships and cultivating social structures that appreciate sexual choices and different ways of pleasure.

panel P109
Fashioning sexuality in popular culture