DECOLONISING LGBTI RIGHTS IN AFRICA

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 10/12/2018
8:30 am - 6:00 pm

Location
HOWARD COLLEGE THEATRE, HC1 AND HC2 , Durban, KwaZulu-Natal

Categories


AFROGAMES 2018 / UKZN SCHOOL OF LAW SYMPOSIUM

DECOLONISING LGBTI RIGHTS IN AFRICA

HOSTED BY THE UKZN, SCHOOL OF LAW IN PARTNERHIP WITH THE AFROGAMES2018 LOC
DATE: 10 DECEMBER 2018
VENUE: HOWARD COLLEGE THEATRE, HC1 AND HC2
TIME: 9H00-15H00

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Concept Note
In December 2018, KZN LGBTI Recreation (NPO Number: 077675) will host an international cultural and sporting event named the AfroGames2018. As part of the event, there will be a one-day Symposium at the School of Law titled, “Decolonising LGBTI RIGHTS IN AFRICA”

1. Implementing Entity and Key Partners

 KwaZulu Natal Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Recreation (KZN LGBT Recreation), NPO Number: 077675 — an organising body whose aim is to use sports and the creative arts to alleviate the marginalisation of LGBT persons.
 AfroGames 2018 LOC — a sporting and cultural event organised by KZNLGBT Recreation and other key partners, which will be preceded by the Symposium
 University of KwaZulu-Natal, School of Law — an implementing partner in the Symposium that has been approached due to its interest in fostering social cohesion, protecting human rights, democracy, the rule of law and decolonisation both locally and throughout Africa
 Advisory panel of experts — specialists in disciplines touching on decolonisation and human rights
 Symposium Organising Committee — a task force that includes stakeholders from the abovelisted and other organisations, which is mandated with developing and delivering the Symposium

2. Background and Justification
Africa is a continent endowed with much diversity, but the legacy of oppression lingers in the form of colonial-era anti-LGBTI laws.
The dominant narrative amongst those who enforce such oppression has been that gay rights are
 Special minority rights (as opposed to human rights)
 Against nature
 Against God
 Against African traditions
 Against the institution of the family
 Against the wishes of the majority of people and therefore anti-democracy.

These reasons for opposing the adoption of LGBTI rights, position the globally-accepted human rights frameworks as a “western imposition” and therefore, colonisation. This can be turned on its head, not by disproving the sayings in bullet points one by one, but by highlighting a pattern that informs each of them — a pattern, ironically, that exposes the opponent of LGBTI rights as an oppressor very much like the colonialist he or she decries. When used by political leaders, each of those listed excuses for opposing or ignoring LGBTI rights serves to replace democracy with populism and through it, the power of one over many. This can be demonstrated to the public at large by proving that the criterion whereby gay rights are “against God” or are “special minority rights” have, historically, been applied selectively and self-servingly by leaders.

The Symposium can be a platform for the pooling, simplification and refinement of proofs that this is so, and proofs that the oppression of LGBTI persons falls into exactly the same pattern as xenophobia, misogyny, gender-based violence and similar oppressions and bigotries. The Symposium is where strategies, resources, networks and narratives for publicising this are to be streamlined and amplified with the intention of casting homophobia and transphobia, in the public eye, as an un-innocent vestige of colonialism that serves the same purpose as colonialism, namely —
I. Hoarding power through the “divide and conquer” tactic (populism, scapegoating), which operates at the expense of human rights and social cohesion. “The oppressed becomes the oppressor”. This, in turn, II. Undermines democracy, the rule of law and Africa’s hope at reconstituting itself as a postcolonial contributor to and shaper of mankind’s destiny.

The Symposium is where stories, resources, stratagem, timelines and action steps can be added together and started and refined to reverse this trend. It builds on the growing calls for decriminalisation and social cohesion and enforces stability and human rights in Africa.
All of this is to position decolonisation as, in essence, incomplete until all are liberated.

3. Project summary
3.1 Overall Objective:
Creating and launching one narrative, namely, that true decolonisation requires the decriminalisation of LGBTI persons across African countries where they are still criminalised.

3.2 Expected outcomes
In line with what has been mentioned above, the attendants of the symposium will crystallise legal, philosophical, anthropological and religious arguments and the tactical publication thereof towards influencing public conversations about policy across the continent, where gender and sexual diversity is concerned, such that Anti-LGBTI laws are publicly seen and experienced as part of a colonial and anti-human legacy.
The tools from history are there, and once Symposium attendants have collated them in order to highlight the self-serving agendas of those who perpetrate such, those attendants will then strategize on how to “normalise” conversations about such behaviours amongst the public.

Scope and Exclusions of Symposium
 Scope: The Symposium would be multi-stakeholder, multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary, given that human rights violations have commercial, spiritual, and other kinds of consequences;
 Exclusions: No exclusions are foreseen apart from actual attendance at the Symposium.
 Limitations 1: Although it could draw insights from beyond it, Symposium would be limited to addressing challenges on the African continent; in fact, the delegates may choose to focus on a pilot country before expanding efforts through the continent
 Limitations 2: Given the failure of directly lobbying for gay rights with lawmakers, organisers and attenders of the Symposium are to consider focusing on just influencing the public. Imputing good intentions or good faith to leaders who castigate LGBTI persons is affording those who least need the luxury, the benefit of the doubt at cost to the safety of those LGBTI persons.

Target Audience/Participants
 Target audience — Civil Society; students; government representatives
 Non-state actors: non-governmental organizations, civil society, academia, the private sector, etc.
 Recognized experts — invited to make presentations and to participate in Panel discussions
 Overall number of participants: 180

Selection and invitation process
Invitations to be sent to various activists’ organisations, academic institutions, student organisations, government departments (Sports, Arts & Culture).

3.3 Indicators of achievement
EXPECTED RESULTS: Symposium proceedings, including a compilation of key presentations and other information. Media coverage and information to public.

STRUCTURE: The Symposium is scheduled to take place over one day, 10 December 2018, from 8h0016h00. There will be one plenary session, with a number of invited keynote speakers. There will also be two parallel sessions, one for each main theme, and the symposium will close with a final plenary where outcomes from the parallel sessions will be reported.

The tentative symposium structure is set out in Annex A.

3.4 Summary budget
See Annex B

3.5 Contact information
Please provide the details (as applicable) below.
Name of organisation: AfroGames 2018 / UKZN School of Law
Primary contact person: Shaun Kruger
Title: Deputy Chairperson AfroGames 2018
Email: info4afrogames@gmail.com / krugers@ukzn.ac.za
Telephone number: 0843689943 / 0312601994
Other contact person: Caroline Narsiah
Title: PA to the Dean, School of Law
Email: narsiahc@ukzn.ac.za
Telephone number: 0312602549

Annex A: Structure of the Symposium (tentative)
It begins 8h30 Monday, 10 December 2018 and ends at 16h00 on the same day. The title of the symposium is DECOLONISING LGBTI RIGHTS IN AFRICA.
There are 3 main themes for the symposium:
 Recognition of LGBTI rights in Africa: a prerequisite for the full emancipation and decolonisation of the continent  Decriminalisation of LGBTI in Africa: challenges, successes and strategies  Religion, Sports & Culture: tools for sustainable social transformation and cohesion of African Communities