Queer power on display

2017-11-19 05:58
shine Visual artist Lady Skollie at the 20th anniversary of the Gay and Lesbian Archives, Holocaust centre, in Forest Town

shine Visual artist Lady Skollie at the 20th anniversary of the Gay and Lesbian Archives, Holocaust centre, in Forest Town

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The queers of the City of Gold came out in their numbers to the brand-new Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre in Forest Town on Wednesday night to celebrate a small miracle. The Gay and Lesbian Archive (Gala) turned 20 years old.

On display were key chapters of the LGBTI community’s resistance to being criminalised and erased, with panels dedicated to pioneers like Cape drag queen Kewpie, Delmas treason trialist Simon Nkoli, murdered lesbian soccer star Eudy Simelane and Bev Ditsie, co-founder of South Africa’s first Pride in Johannesburg in 1990.

It was not a big-budget display, but it was full of soul and memories of the struggle. Singer-songwriter Danielle Bowler performed several songs in between speeches. Among the speakers was Constitutional Court Judge Edwin Cameron, who delivered an ode to the organisation for keeping memory alive and continuing to fight gender inequality.

Brilliant young queers or queer-identifying and supporting creatives huddled in groups, chatting and networking. Among them were digital artist Tiger Maremela and rising art star Lady Skollie. She was delighted to have recovered from surgery to her legs and said her international career was doing very nicely, thank you.

To close, Gala’s new director, Keval Harie, asked staff to talk about their jobs at the fascinating and rich archive.

And then the rainbow-coloured cakes were brought out and the wine began to flow.

Read more on:    lgbti

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