(re) introducing the q[/t] werd: a video diary

It ain’t no mystery that we (been) preparing for dis’ (not-so) new film & video projects: nekkyd & the Q[/T] werd. 

season 1 features 32[+4]stories en the magic is in  retelling of OUR stories

some of the [extra] ordinary people featured [en behind the scenes] include: anitafrika dub theatre, blackness yes! and blockorama, bombastic kasha, bunge la mwananchi, bredrin and dadas in solidarity, colour me dragg, [is] the crux, deb singh, Elijah Masinde, elimu sanifu, faith Nolan, funkasia, the funketeers, gender education and advocacy project, house of munro, Ishtar, kalmplex, nikki mawanda, nneke dumele, red lips. cages for black girls, swagger, tajudeen abdul raheem, victor mukasa, en the Yoruba house project

A love letter to rafikis, [aka.] bredrin and dadas in solidarity.

 

b is for blackness yes! and blockorama

an(other) open letter to pride toronto

Dear committee (and communities)

Thank you for the (growing) fiya this time, evident not only with word on the ground, the press conference featuring the return of accolades by 20+ former Pride grand marshals, honoured dykes and award recipients, but even more poignantly in the packed house that was the “our pride includes free speech” community meeting.

Clearly, we the people are not, have never been in the minority, and there are more of us who are fed up with the oppressive trends that have pride toronto aligned not WITH  the community but with the ‘big boys’….

In the spirit of rebuilding solidarity, I offer one other example of the many gaps that we have all the power to redress…..

 If I was to (not so) randomly pick just one request for funding as a concrete example of where to divert some of the proceeds from ‘Pride’, it would be (something like) alexa’s story.

http://www.gaykenya.com/our-activities/equality-fund/3707.html

Given the efficient corporate machine the committee has been for years now (depending on where you look at it from), token monetary awards to more LGBTTIQ individuals and groups in poorer nations would be another concrete way to not only build solidarity among global queer/trans communities but steps closer to (re)politicizing the mission of Pride being carried out by ‘the powers that be’……yes, the community discussions are important, but to make it plain, we need more than all this talk……

The Shame awards that were presented to the ‘official’ Pride Toronto committee and the return of so many awards by previous honoured folks this morning, is one of the many obvious signs that the decision to ban Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) because of the words ‘israeli apartheid’ is one in a long line of historical shifts that have distanced the committee from the ‘realness’ in the diversity of our communities.

The truth is that all the missteps of the committee are fingers pointed straight at our own complacency and distance from the political work behind not only our own civil rights, but those of brothers and sisters around the world.

The truth is, the fight for peace is far from over, and as much as we have alot to celebrate, we cannot rest until all oppressed people are also free. It should be more simple really, like this hadithi…..

ALEXA’S STORY: BANDA PROJECT

In February 2010, the LGBTI community in Mtwapa experienced an unprecedented attack from neighbors fueled by various rumored versions of a gay wedding. The most repeated version was that a popular gay man joked to his barber during a haircut that he was grooming himself up to get married to his boyfriend. The barber took offense and reported news of the planned gay wedding to his local mosque. The congregation was then instructed by their imam to monitor social events that weekend. Local radio stations, Kaya FM, Baraka FM and Rahma FM and national stations Kiss FM and Classic FM were to pick up the story and run with it. Together the stations have a great grassroots reach and influence.

On the said wedding day, angry youth stormed KEMRI offices in Kilifi to flush out the gay couple that was to wed. Yusuf X. “Alexa” was considered partner to the groom, the media covered his story and published his pictures. 

Alexa is now much sought after in his hometown. GALCK has since resettled him in Nairobi, but he wishes to relocate to Voi to start a business, and continue with his life.

Alexa shared a business proposal to manage a banda (food kiosk) in Voi, serving Coastal delicacies and fast foods. He will also stock telephone airtime. Voi is moderately promising for business and prospective clients will include mostly middle level income residents and travelers.

 

Budget (in Kenya shillings)

  Unit Unit Cost Total
       
Resettlement Costs      
Transportation, Nairobi-Mombasa-Voi 1 8000 8000
House Rent: Deposit, 2 months Rent 3 4500 13500
House Utilities (Electricity, Water): Deposits, 2 months 3 2000 6000
Food, Upkeep, Emergencies, First month 1 10000 10000
Business Costs      
Banda Rent: Deposit, 2 months Rent 3 3500 10500
Banda Utilities (Electricity, Water, Gas): Deposits, 2 months 3 3000 9000
Banda Opening Stock 1 20000 20000
Banda Set Up: Kitchenware, Furniture, Misc. 1 16000 16000
Administration Costs      
Transport, FB Accommodation, 5 visits, 1 staff 5 6000 30000
Phone follow ups 10 100 1000
Alexa, survey trip: Transport, FB Accommodation 1 6000 6000
Discretionary Funds (Contingencies, Emergencies) 1 10000 10000
  Total:   140,000

 

Monitoring and Evaluation

An Organizing Committee of the G-Kenya Trust Executive, and Board of the Equality Fund is formed to provide oversight for the Banda Project.

The Advocacy and Media Liaison at G-Kenya Trust will supervise the Banda Project by:

 1.    Accompanying Alexa on an initial visit to Voi to survey the neighborhood, and confirm budget lines, and the viability of the business plan—tentatively on the weekend of June 8th/9th.

2.       Reporting on the initial survey visit, discussing proposed timelines for implementation, and seeking approval for implementation of the project from the Organizing Committee in the week ending June 11th.

3.       Accompanying Alexa on a second visit to implement the project, i.e.: purchase of materials and stock, signing of leases, and utility contracts, tentatively by the weekend of June 11th/12th.

4.      Phone monitoring and supporting Alexa on the progress and challenges of the business every two weeks between June 15th and September 15th.

5.       Physical monitoring (visiting) thrice, to track growth, and challenges, on or around the weekends of July 16th, August 20th and September 17th, evaluating project challenges and seeking appropriate institutional remedies.

6.      Reporting monthly, after every physical visit, to the Organizing Committee on the progress of the project.

Donations

Please send donations via:

M-Pesa to 0700 718585

Direct Debit to the Kenya Gay and Lesbian Trust, Account No.: CA2-1200004266, NIC Bank Ltd., NIC House, Masaba Rd.

(Please call us on [+254] 0700 718585 after the transaction so we can confirm receipt).

http://www.gaykenya.com/

blogger’s note: and in other (q werd) news on the ground, with more steps forward, Brazil’s President Lula decrees National Day Against Homophobia…….

Attending the request of ABGLT (Brazilian Lesbian, Gay, Bisexuals and Trans Association), on Friday June 4th, Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, (on the eve of São Paulo’s 14th LGBT Pride March,)  signed a decree creating the National Day Against Homophobia, to be commemorated annually on May 17th. The Decree was published in the Official Gazette, today, Monday June 7th (text below).

The news was received on Friday evening by ABGLT’s president during the 10th Citizenship and Respect for Diversity Awards, held by the São Paulo LGBT Pride Association.   

According to Toni Reis, ABGLT’s president, “the Decree is the governmental recognition that homophobia exists in Brazil and that concrete actions are needed to reduce or eliminate prejudice, discrimination and stigma against the LGBT community. We hope that Brazil’s example will be followed by the 75 countries where homosexuality is a crime and in the 7 countries where the death penalty exists for homosexuals”, he said. Reis also congratulated the federal government, in particular the Human Rights Secretariat of the President’s Office, for its efforts in approving the Decree.

The Decree adds to the list of honoured campaign proposals made prior to president Lula’s second term of office (2007-2010): the continuity of the Brazil Without Homophobia Programme; the holding of the 1st National LGBT Conference; the creation of the National LGBT Coordination, the National LGBT Council and the National Plan to Promote LGBT Citizenship and Human Rights. While the national Legislative Branch has failed to approve any laws that would guarantee the equal rights of the LGBT community, the Judiciary and Executive Branches have shown, through decisions and actions, that Brazil respects its Federal Constitution, articles 3 and 5 of which state that there will be no discrimination and that all people are equal before the law, without distinction of any nature. 

May 17th 1990 was the date on which the World Health Assembly, the World Health Organizations highest decision making body, removed homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases. Since then the data has been celebrated internationally as the Day Against Homophobia.

It is one of ABGLT’s strategies that the Brazilian states and municipalities recognize the Day Against Homophobia through laws or decrees. The day already exists officially in 9 states: Amazonas, Distrito Federal, Espírito Santo, Goiás, Minas Gerais, Pará, Paraíba, Paraná and Santa Catarina; and in at least 15 municipalities: Lauro de Freitas-BA, Alfenas-MG, Itaúna-MG,

Cuiabá-MT, Rondonópolis-MT, Picos-PI, Curitiba-PR, Francisco Beltrão-PR, Natal-RN, Mesquita-RJ, Rio Grande-RS, Florianópolis-SC, Joinville-SC, Campinas-SP and Ribeirão Preto-SP (www.abglt.org.br/port/leis_homofobia.php)

Further information

 Toni Reis – President, ABGLT: +55 41 9602 8906

Carlos Magno – Communications Secretary, ABGLT: +55 31 8817 1170

 DECREE DATED JUNE 4TH 2010 

Creates the National Day Against Homophobia.

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC, in the use of the attributions conferred upon him by article 84, items II and VI, sub-item “a”, of the Federal Constitution,

 

D E C R E E S :

 

Article. 1 – May 17th is hereby established as the National Day Against Homophobia.

 

Article 2 – This Decree shall come into force on the date of its publication.

 

Brasília, June 4th 2010; 189th year of Independence and 122nd year of the Republic.

 

LUIZ INÁCIO LULA DA SILVA

Paulo de Tarso Vannuchi

 

(Official Gazette.  No. 106, Monday June 7th 2010, Section 1 – Page 5)

My favourite things about today are yet to come, I love Thursdays for the simple reason that I know every night will be a ‘jood’ one. En I get one night closer to Saturday, another one of those (guaranteed) ‘jood’ time(s), the rest of my evenings are up for grabs by wind (dadas), moon, sun, rain, work en love

Tonight, I’mma break my ritual(s) and go for the (pre)screening of ‘red lips’ instead, in this space en (neo-colonial/post-modern) times, you gotta take stories about (queer/trans/pan) afrikans wherever they offer themselves.  It’s (not) often en (not) widespread, (depending on how/en/where you look at/read it)…

Even though I haven’t even ‘seen’ the (short) film yet, haven’t ‘read’ the reviews, seen the ads, or followed it on any social engine, I’ve marked off the premiere of the Legacy Video Project in my calendar. http://www.insideout.on.ca/20/program_details.php?id=31

It’s ‘special’ in so many ways, one of those (community) rituals that define (not only) my ‘Canadian’ (en Tdot) status (butof  a fragmented and intersecting group of ‘others’).

http://www.insideout.ca/20/schedule/index.php

For (almost) as long as I’ve lived in this country, I have attended the festival; I first volunteered in Tdot @ InsideOut; most of my ‘official’ film experience has been thanks to the queer youth digital video project &

….ndio, there’s a pattern, so, ofcourse I have a sweet spot for all things queer(trans) en (film&video)spice (many others do, en feel me on this too – uchandirayasi!) en it’s (notso) obvious that I have plenty access en privilege to re/define myself in queer & trans positive spaces.

These are one of the many reasons Tdot could ‘potentially’ be the ‘best’ city in the world, we’re a ‘nicer’ (version of) New York (or so I’ve heard, coz I ain’t crossed THAT  border yet, but from what I heard, it sounds like, from a pan-afrikan perspective, the only ting’ that New York has over Tdot is Brooklyn en the Bronx, Manhattan is just so gay), en if you’re an Afrikan in the diaspora, where better to experience the whole world (if you choose to) than in (dis) one city?

Where so many ‘others’ re/define one of the national landmark/s of turtle island? (you couldn’t experience such living in jo’burg, kampala, kigali, lagos, mogadishu, monrovia or nairobi, maybe with enough time en immigrants…..)

En yes, if you unpack these hadithi, you’d read I was telling you this, because it’s Very.Important.People.  I have (more than 31) personal (en political) reasons to be going to see ‘red lips’ tonight…the actions (are) layered, (en symbolic) as markers in the ‘Q’ werd.

Red lips, is the crux, is swagger, is nneke dumele, audrey mbugua & tomee sojourner, trey anthony, zanele muholi, wahu kaara & pouline kimani, bombastic kasha & victor mukasa, tajudeen abdul raheem & audre lorde, seven sisters & anitafrika dub theatre…(many) dadas en bredrin in solidarity, in film/theory but not nearly as many as we need in practice, in intersecting and separate spaces, for different purposes, all to rebuild en reclaim ourselves en our communities….

we gotta still continue from ‘here’, give thanks not only for who we’ve got, or where we’re coming from, but for what’s coming as we prepare…..

the big(ger) point is that we are not the only ones who’ve found (some of) what we’ve been looking for.  We  ARE  the ones we’ve been looking for, so now what?  the crux is working on OUR  unity (first), en manifesting our (re)visions, (or, jus’ what IS  the crux?)

Since time, everything that one does (re)defines oneself, and since ‘we’ walked, we’ve (re)defined ourselves in groups, labelled God/dess(es), en change/d….. in other words, this is a(nother) pan-afrikan postcard, another hadithi of dadas (en mamas) in solidarity

I’m going to see red lips tonight for (more than)a few reasons; I’ve read en heard the story, witnessed en shared in parts of its production, en I (am in) love (with) the performance of this hadithi. There’s something about any producer who delves into the significance of healing en self recovery for womyn through ritual en wota, en about the ‘actors’ who re/tell the story with their (own) body-memories,  something about taking time to see (beautiful/performance) art used for revolushunary change, it’s like (good) food for the soul en dadas.(practis)in(g).solidarity, which is quite simply, jood!

ofcourse i’m also jus more likely to be going coz, the womyn who produced the piece is not only (a) fine as may wine (dada who knows many other sweet as honey sistas) but one of the many afrikans  (or few, depending on how/where you look at/read it) who’ve shared their energy, love, teachings, en time with me…..one of the many that I been looking for, who’ve changed not only me, but others…

And now that it’s spring (or autumn depending on where your latitude is at) again, and (my) be/loved let me go, now that I’ve (quite literally) fallen through the hole en like ‘Alice in Wonderland’ (this is real when I say I volunteered at my first un-Anniversary last nite, so today of all days, I feel particularly qualified to speak on matters of peace & conflict, magic.of.symbolism, truth & reconciliation), today I feel particularly ‘entitled’ to getting some ‘honey’ , I wasn’t beheaded by the Queen, she eve/n ‘spoke’ to me, I ate good food en mostly tended a hookah with a surreal caterpillar, en all in all had quite a sweet (un-anniversary) time…something like when I went to see the ‘other’ queen, the week before that….(went to) fe(e)d the wota, en she gave me some priceless gifts in return…

 (but now that’s another hadithi)…

 the bigger point is that (those) red lips are one of the 31 hadithi of the ‘Q’ werd.

A mystic, organic, and (us) people driven caravan of (change en) pan-afrikan stories.

http://www.anitafrika.com/

Something like a series of auto-myth(o)-biographies en interviews with ordinary people en (super/s)heroes, retelling our true true stories for the sake of pikney. Because if we don’t tell them our true true stories, who will? En if we don’t practice peace, (en fight for our freedom by any means necessary) then where will ‘they’ learn (IT) from?

(re)introducing (Tsholo) Khalema as Nneke Dumele in NeKKyD

NEKKyD is a Canadain dark-comedy web series sitcom that debuts June 30, 2010

Each episode is a different journey inside Nekkyd’s (Tsholo Khalema) world as her wry observations take us into the mind of a screwed up, loved up, lustful lesbian world. Being a lesbian is tough, Being a black immigrant African lesbian trying to fit in… well lets just say, to survive you gotta know the RULEZ TA BEIN’ A STUD. NEKKyD explores the world of Nneke Dumela and her earth-shattering lust for the gorgeous and sassy women

Check out http://colourspill-productions.blogspot.com

  Nekkyd is the 2nd of 31 stories (in the 1st series of) The Q werd: a mystic, organic en (us)people-driven hadithi caravan of video diaries. Nothing like the L word, in many ways like IloveUPeople, with a continental twist…….the crux of the series is big love en big mobilizing for, and, within (pan) Afrikan communities….

The crux is the 3rd story of the Q werd:||the crux|| is a marketing, media and entertainment strategy outfit servicing Canada the USA and the Caribbean.

With almost a decade of industry experience, ||the crux|| offers branding strategy, media relations, publicity, community relations, message development, speech writing, media training, promotion, press-kit creation and complete event production.

With a wide array of industry contacts throughout North America and the Islands; ||the crux|| represents clients within the the Corporate, Multicultural, Arts and Culture, Fashion and Beauty, Entertainment and Lifestyle realms.

Check out http://isthecrux.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/13-questions-with-mel-fernandes

To be continued….kesho on the Q werd: (the evolution of) swagger

(some) Facts. Many Catholic scholars now deny that there was ever a female pope, but the legend of Pope Joan persists. Even the church accepted Joan’s pontificate as historical fact, up to the beginning of the 17th century.

Her portrait appeared in a row of papal busts in Siena Cathedral, labeled Johannes VIII, femina ex Anglia:

John VIII, an Englishwoman.

Pope Joan was first mentioned by her contemporary Anastasius the Librarian (d.886).

 Scotus’s chronicle of the popes listed her:

“A.D 854, Lotharii 14, Joanna, a woman, succeeded Leo, and reigned two years, five months, and four days.”……

Pope Joan many not have been so apocryphal as she is now portrayed. Part of the church’s most carefully hidden history shows that there were women in high ecclesiastical positions up to the 12th century, when they began to be deposed in Europe…….

The Papess of the Tarot Decks was often called Pope Joan. When the first Tarot decks were being (re)produced, Joan’s pontificate was universally accepted as historical fact. The card-Papess’s three-tiered tiara was the same as the headdress shown on engravings of Pope Joan…..

(but) whether Pope Joan existed or not, a curious Vatican custom arose in the wake of her legend. Candidates for the papacy had to seat themselves naked on an open stool, to be viewed through a hole in the floor by cardinals in the room below. The committee had to make its official announcement:

Testiculo habet et bene pendentes,

“he has testicles, and they hang all right.”

It seemed important that “Holy Mother Church” must never be governed by a Holy Mother….

[Blogger’s note: Pope Joan’s is a herstorical landmark in the Tdot of the Q werd. a real gender bender…….excerpt/ed from Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Barbara Walker, p. 475]

Na bado, ni kweli kama hadithi ya……

 Juno

…had many attributes or emanations which are sometimes erroneously viewed as separate Goddesses. Juno Fortuna (Fortune), Sospita (Preserver), Regina(Queen of Heaven), Lucina(Celestial Light), Moneta (Advisor/Admonisher), Martialis (mother of Mars), Carprotina/Februa(love), Populonia (mother of the people), en so on, through many other Junos….

Among Juno’s sacred symbols were the peacock, the cowrie shell, and ofcourse, the lily, or lotus, universal yonic emblem. With her sacred lily, Juno conceived the God Mars without any assistance from her consort, Jupiter; later to be called the Blessed Virgin Juno.

The three-lobed lily that used to represent her parthenogenetic power was inherited by the ‘virgin’ Mary, who still retains it.

[The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets: p.484, Juno.]

To be continued….