kuna hadithi najua, about how the earth floats in space on the back of a turtle…

en Obatala came down with the chicken en there was (Ile) Ife,

varadero oshun ritual

usanii ya preparing sacred space

every time someone tells this story it changes,

sometimes, it’s Nambi that came (back) to Earth with Kintu, the chicken en the millet that she went back home to get.

in others, Mwedzi (moon) na Hweva (morningstar) become lovers en co-parent the first sacred village into thriving manifestation

varadero oshun ritual 2

oshun na awos

leo, dis hadithi ni how spirit-led/to go (back) to Kuba,

harvesting de blessings of we global panafrikan village,

in a different kind of world.mto

infinitely grateful for (relearning) healing journeys

ritual for oshun

akina dada, mama na awos wa Afreeka

so grateful for time for rest and ritual, surrounded with blessings in abundance.

give thanks for de synergy of spirit circles in turtle island, across the diaspora of righteousness en on the afreekan shores.

healing circles kama

the last ijumaa ya februari, pamoja (con nuevo familia) tulifika kwa mto, in ritual and with offerings for oshun.

varadero jamii safari

enroute

na in honour of harvesting synergy ya sacred leadership en #PanAfricanArtsMovements.

sharing our hadithi; true true stories of resiliency, renewal en reclaiming a liberatory kind of powah.

.varadero jamiinalosjuegos

in spaces between rituals & feasts for oshun y yemoya,

ubuntu.

all we are is love, love, upendo, amor en stardust.

varadero jamii feast

kijiji feast for yemoya

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I’m always soaring in love all ova again when summer comes round. every year in tdot has been filled with kindred spirits en honourable ones that have had me calling turtle island my new home going on a decade now, en dis year has been di most magical one yet…na always there’s the pull back to my true-true nyumbas, the fresh-off-di-boat immigrant experience with a queer twist, like di spaces between belonging na self (!) imposed exile…..

I heart tdot for the balms of evolving Pride weeks, Afro & Jazz fests, en divine zawadis like free Queen of Soul concerts on a Friday nite in di heart of downtown. nashukuru di revolushun being documented with Back To Our Roots Press; en i heart tdot massives for y/our swagger…

Lovers & Friends Show

 Leo, siku ya tano katika hadithi ya kwanzaa, ni ya nia (purpose):

[  i,S.I.S Note: nia yetu is Not so randomly connected to nai (na-eeee), center of legendary crossroads. These ndugus’ werd! Sound! Powah! are on repeat in our wish lists of soundtracks for the q_t werd (right after asa en nneka)

 u’r my specialty, all up in my life….

NAI..(more so nowadays known as the capital of) /

ROB(ber)/I(es,

concrete jungle where dreams are made of, the lights will inspire you…

nai-robi!)]

 Nia is to make our collective vocation the building of our community to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

 

Thursday, December 30th, 6 pm, Program, African American Arts & Culture Complex, 762 Fulton:

 

[Na nia pia yaweza patikana katika hadithi kama ya…Namoratunga: The First Archeoastronomical Evidence in Sub-Saharan Africa

Namoratunga, a megalithic site in northwestern Kenya, has an alignment of 19 basalt pillars that are nonrandomly oriented toward certain stars and constellations. The same stars and constellations are used by modern eastern Cushitic peoples to calculate an accurate calendar. The fact that Namoratunga dates to about 300 B.C. suggests that a prehistoric calendar based on detailed astronomical knowledge was in use in eastern Africa. ]

[Lynch, BM and LH Robbins. 1978. Namoratunga: The first archeoastronomical evidence in sub-Saharan Africa. Science 200:766–68. no. 4343 DOI: 10.1126/science.200.4343.766 …..

These are the archives en contexts of the q_t werd.]

 “Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.”

Born in the womb of two brothas that (not only) I love, respekt en admire so, there’s a story I know that goes like El-Farouk Khaki en Troy Jackson seeded Human Positive last year, in response to the backlash that the brothas received for publicly standing in support of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, Palestinian rights, and criticising the state of Israel. Or so one version of the hadithi (story) goes…

Dis grassroots organisation has been nourished in expanding el-tawhid families (of loving ‘mis-fits’) en evolving collectives of muslim (identified) folks, and is rooted in principles of big love like salaam and ubuntu. Or so another version of the hadithi goes….

The bigger point is, big tings a gwaan with H.P’s programming for next year…..

These are some of the (s)heroes of the Q_t werd: a doc exploring (as ) many intersections of our diversity (as we can), and the possibilities of building revolushunary solidarity, in dub: in a caravan of us-people hadithi of (our vision) quests.

The riddle of the sphinx is in the connecshuns among the legends of GALCK, Human Positive, Fahamu, The People Project, Bredrin en dadas in solidarity, Nneka and Nneke Dumela

 Jus one of the many revolushunary organisations that we love, respekt and admire so, the ones that we have grown with en learnt so much from on building communities of (good) practice and the struggle for Afrikan liberation….

http://blog.trustafrica.org/blog.php?/archives/45-Hakima-Abbas-reflects-on-African-philanthropy.html

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/68376

these are (some of)  the hadithi of the q_t werd [ on the ground]…

the ones that haven’t been published (yet)….

Proposal – Queer African Reader

Project Consultant: Sokari Ekine
Proposed Editors: Sokari Ekine, Hakima Abbas

We are writing to invite you to participate in the publication of an African LGBTI Reader to be published by Pambazuka Press in June 2011. The African LGBTI Reader is being published in response to the increasing homophobia and transphobia across the continent which aims to silence the voices of African Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex people.

The African LGBTI Reader [Working Title] seeks to make a timely intervention by bringing together a collection of writings and artistic works that engage with the struggle for LGBTI liberation and inform sexual orientation and gender variance. The book seeks to engage with primarily an African audience focusing on intersectionality and will include experiences from rural communities, post-conflict situations, religious experience as well that of immigration and displacement.

We are proposing an alternative framework for the book based on a participatory model in which we ask prospective contributors and the broad queer activist community to discuss possible topics to be included that will push analysis and thinking within this distinct and diverse movement across the continent writing from the standpoint of both personal stories and experiences as activists. We feel this is important because of the multi layered issues which exist historically, regionally and politically with regards to sexual orientation and gender variance in Africa as well as the overall struggle for African liberation.

We hope to facilitate the writing of key African LGBTI leaders, activists and thinkers by providing a two week retreat where activists can create the space to reflect, share their ideas and writing, peer review each other’s work, have access to sources and resources provided by prominent academics and the institution. The writing retreat will be fully sponsored and contributors will be provided an honorarium for their writing which will enable them to take the time away from their activities to provide a critically reflective piece.

Possible Topics – not including personal stories, poems, stories

We have identified eight themes which are listed below with a brief summary of each. We are suggesting each of you think about the theme[s] that interest you and suggest specific topics on which you could write or would like to see addressed.

1. WHAT’S IN A LETTER:

We repeatedly use the terms lesbian, gay, bi-sexual transgender and intersex but what do these mean in your own experience, your own community and country? How limiting or inclusive are these labels? Are they appropriate and do they reflect your own experiences? Does the identity cause more problems than the behavior? Does gender variance or gender non-conforming provide a more appropriate entry point for discussion in Africa given silence around all sexualities? How do we organize across definitions? Why should we?

2. RESISTING OPPRESSION – TOWARDS LIBERATION:

What kind of strategies have been used or could be taken up to resist / challenge queer oppression?

Should we be talking about movement-building? What conceptualisations, experiences and visions of movements do we have / should there be?

Should the struggle for LGBTI Rights be framed within a Western construct which sees Rights as instruments and legislation or should the struggle for rights be constructed within a framework of movement building around which the oppressed organise?

How has the reliance on the NGO Industrial complex supported or hindered movement building? If the latter, what possible alternatives are there to organising and fund raising? How can we move towards more collaborative and collective ways of working which support movement building? What kind of strategies have been used or could be taken up to resist / challenge criminalisation and homophobia including that coming from religious institutions and the media? How should we understand and transcend the limits of the NGO-dominated activist space?

3. PINK COLONIALISM AND WESTERN MISSIONARIES:

What are the problematics of internationalising campaigns and how do we work with allies in the West? How do we overcome donor dependence as a movement? Do the donors and bilaterals save us from ourselves? How do we measure victory e.g. in Malawi and Uganda?

4. A CHANGING WORLD: SOUTH AFRICA AND THE BRICS:

Does South Africa have a particular role to play in supporting queer liberation in Africa? Does the shift in global power create opportunity or threat for African queer liberation? What other geo-political factors determine the course for queer liberation?

5. AFRICAN QUEER LIBERATION AND CLASS STRUGGLE:

What are the intersections between the broader social justice movement in Africa and the movement for queer liberation? Why should one care about the other?

6. ARE GAY MEN FEMINISTS?

What political frames are useful in our movement building? While LBT activists have tended towards feminism does it exclude GT men? How do we address patriarchy and sexism in our movements and personal relationships even among women-identified folks? Why do many straight identified African feminists resist taking on queer issues as a feminist issue in Africa?

7.         GOD AND QUEER –

INCOMPATIBLE OR INSEPARABLE IN AFRICA

Does the movement have to come from a secular space? Given that many African queer folks identify as religious how do we overcome fundamentalism?

The US right wing church are using Africa as a battleground for queer bashing – why is this effective?

What of countries with majority Muslim populations or Islamic law for queer liberation?

What is liberation theology today from a queer liberation and broader social justice perspective?

What are our strategies here?

Are there existing experiences of this, and what can we learn from there? What are the conceptual, spiritual and strategic challenges that the concept of liberation theology throws up to religious queers?

8. RECONCILING THE PERSONAL WITH THE POLITICAL:

What particular role has been/can be played by those engaged in activism through the creative arts? What has been/is the personal cost to working as social justice activists often working in relative isolation and in hostile environments? How can we better balance our lives as social justice activists with that of social people and the need to care for ourselves?

Submissions can be any of the following: essays, case studies of lived experiences on any of the suggested themes, personal stories, poems, art work, photography, short stories, short plays.

Submissions are welcome from Africans both on the continent and in the diaspora.

Download the Concept Note here.

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/Announce/67004

This blog is strategically mystic, personal and political.  I’ve been sharing pieces of a doc that we (a couple o’ dadas) officially started shooting dis’ summer, these bios of some of the 32 (en then some) folks that we love, respekt and admire so,  are a tapestry of all the brilliance and intersections in our diversity, en real tox on the struggle for afrikan liberation.

Dis blog is  the (un)official home of “The Q_t werd”: A caravan of us-people stories exploring bio/myth/ologies of (our vision) quests. The riddle of the sphinx is in the 4(+1) bredrin and dadas that are the crux of dis doc’

….The ancient ones sing in joy that you have come here to deepen your spirit.

Spiritual warrior’s pledge: Not for myself alone, but that all the people may live.

We can come to the wilderness to feel what is possible and naturally beautiful – but we must stand rooted in the Earth and face the crying issues right where we live…..

[Buffalo Woman Comes Singing]

In a sa(cre)d mood tonite, paying respects to the passing of legends, weaving life/death/life cycles in(to) the tapestry of the Q_t werd…..

The riddle of the sphinx is in the connecshun between Elijah Masinde and [G is for the legend of] Gregory Isaacs. Thank you for all the gifts en knowledge you share…..ase…..