There’s a story I know. It’s about the earth and how it floats in space on the back of a turtle. I’ve heard this story many times, and each time someone tells the story, it changes. Sometimes the change is simply in the voice of the storyteller. Sometimes the change is in the details. Sometimes in the order of events. Other time’s it’s the dialogue or the response of the audience. But in all the telling of the tellers, the world never leaves the turtle’s back. And the turtle never swims away…
[The truth about stories: a Native Narrative]
There’s other hadithi I know, like how I discovered this series of stories a few days ago, that reminded me that around dis time last year, a manifesto of revolushunary intent was quite magically (re)born through the collective wisdom of warrior kings and queens, archived in dis world wide web that we find ourselves meeting in again en again, en practised in many villages en urban spaces..
These articles made me so happy, not because of why they were written (in direct response to the African Commission for Peoples and Human Rights denying ‘observer’ status to the Coalition of African Lesbians) or their content per se, but quite simply because there were so many of them (TEN!) coming from a place of (anti-oppressive) solidarity, which is where the I,Sista.In.Solidarity manifesto came from……
These articles triggered me to reflect much more on the tasks we have of harnessing the power of our intersecting interests and resources.
It made me so happy to consider that it was inevitable that I would read these articles, coz I have to admit to stalking Pambazuka news for the latest on the shifting boundaries of our social movements…the bigger point is, I’m ever more grateful for bredrin en dadas around the world, and significantly, on the continent, who are speaking BACK and working on the necessary elements of truth, justice and peace, with big love.
Check these stories out, and if you are, like me, in the diaspora, consider how you/we could share more resources with our bredrin and dadas on the continent, what strengths can we harness over here to build solidarity not only with LGBTI movements in Afrika, but all progressive social movements? Where do we position ourselves as allies?
Consider what it means as we commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, for queer & trans women in Afrika, for the indigenus women & trans folk of Turtle Island….
Recently Indian writer and activist, Arundhati Roy spoke of the Indian state:
‘Pity the nation that has to silence its writers for speaking their minds. Pity the nation that needs to jail those who ask for justice, while communal killers, mass murderers, corporate scamsters, looters, rapists, and those who prey on the poorest of the poor, roam free.’
We say pity that 53 African nation states – and we really need to emphasise this because a few people are deciding about the validity of our lives – feel they have to silence the voices of their innocent citizens who ask for justice and the rights shared by their sisters and brothers, fathers and mothers while ‘communal killers, mass murderers, corporate and political scamsters, looters, rapists, and those who prey on the poorest of the poor, roam free’!
- The day the African commission disavowed humanity Fikile Vilakazi and Sibongile Ndashe
2. African commission should reconsider decision on Coalition of African Lesbians
3. The fallacy of human rights at the African Commission
4. Are we not human?
5. If not, why not? Doublespeak on LGBTI rights at the African Commission
6. Face Down
7. Sexual orientation under the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights
8. Where can we find refuge and justice?
9. Lesbians can no longer be silent Rose Wanjiku
10. Let this group find comfort and safety here Asha Ramgobin
Statement at the 48th Session of the African Commission on Human And Peoples’ Rights
[BROUGHT TO YOU BY PAMBAZUKA NEWS]