On Queerness and Human Rights

As part of Uppsala's Welcome Out pride festival of 2017, Forum for Africa studies and RFSL co-hosted David Nnanna C. Ikpo (University of Pretoria) as a guest speaker for the festivities this year. On Friday 15th September 2017, Nnanna  presented his ongoing work on the human rights of Queer people at Forum for Africa Studies' Friday Research Seminar (Fredagsforsk).  In his talk, Nnanna spoke about the experiences of Queer people in relation to activism more generally. The topic of language was raised a number of times, seemingly guiding the discussions. Nnanna expressed his challenges in speaking about Queer experiences as a trained lawyer, whilst also trying to speak to this through the Arts in his writing. The complexities of the language of Queer Human Rights and the resistance to it in particular African contexts was also a topic strongly engaged with, which led to discussions on the necessity to draw on various indigenous images of same gender partnerships in Africa more often in activism on the continent. Nnanna said that we should use creativity (storytelling, the arts) to introduce these indigenous images of queer relationships to young people from an early stage as one approach.

Finally, the audience were lucky enough to hear Nnanna read a passage from his widely acclaimed book, "Fimi Sile Forever: Heaven Gave It To Me" as a close to his presentation.