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Welcome to the student wiki "Queer (in-)visibilities in the art of Africa and beyond" ...


In the seminar "Queer (in-)visibilities in the art of Africa and beyond" at the Freie Universität, conducted during the winter semester 2014-15 by Melanie Klein, students were exploring different forms of queer visibility in the art from Africa and its diaspora. Such visibilities in contemporary art exhibit diverse occurrences. For artists, the fathoming of what can be made visible and what has to remain invisible or subtle in the face of difficult and often openly discriminating political situations in several African countries is a far-reaching decision. Here, the visual production and perception of queer issues is generated in a complicated mélange of historically specific developments, new solidarities as well as exclusions and concrete realities. In this respect, the discrepancy between the visual material of artistic and activist knowledge production and the conceptualisation of these concurrencies on an institutional level of mostly Western origin has to constantly be taken into consideration. Concepts of sexuality and gender that are only recently modified towards intersectional approaches in according theory reflect - in the African context - much more ambivalent implementations or are simply incommensurable. This circumstance applies, for example, to the visually interwoven subject matters of sexuality and religion or sexuality, gender and race. The very definition of Queer Theory as resistive to normative categories per se and as contesting respective privileges seems to reveal its practical equivalences in Africa and its art.


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