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Workshop ~ Queerness, Identity and Sexuality within the Arts

15 August 2012. The expansive definition of the subversive has reached beyond certain hetero-feminist definitions and has had to include other practices of subversion such as defined by Munoz as “Disidentifications”. These disidentifications expand beyond the traditional definitions of man and woman, male and female, but rather to disassociate from the labels. This disassociation affords all artists the space to exist within this art system, in order to challenge and critique these gender constructs. In fact more spaces ought to be created for what ordinarily could be understood as “lower ranked, frivolous” arts practices, to continue challenging traditional notions of what art is. Visual artists thus play an important role in bringing such issues to the fore. Their continued critique of gender binaries effectively draws on issues of inequalities and power constructions. This scope therefore allows for space to discuss issues of identities such as race, sex, geo-politics, culture, sexuality and class through the medium of the visual arts.






Stanimir Stoykov, a Bulgarian born, Joburg-based queer film maker.  His/Her film (Snakes) starring Carl Beukes, Robert Whitehead, Brian Webber, David Pretorius and Yolande Sinder. Music by David Driver. Snakes is a queer comedy about a lesbian TV evangelist and criminal Sheila Brown. Things go wrong during a live broadcast when her long lost son unexpectedly appears, demanding money for gender re assignment surgery.


Dr Antje Schuhmann is Senior Lecturer of Politics. Her work draws from Critical Race Theory and Whiteness Studies, Postcolonial Theory, Masculinity Studies, the Study of Sexualities, and Feminist Theory and Practice. Her main fields of interest include the intersection of power with various body politics, and the historical roots and today’s legacies of systems of violence and domination. Antje’s research focuses on how the interconnectivity of gender, race, sexuality, and class manifest themselves in everyday experiences and politics of representation. Antje is active in international feminist, anti-racist networks, has produced film and audio features, published in various journals and newspapers, and is the co-editor of Blackness and Sexualities (2007, LIT Verlag). Currently, she is writing a book on imperial feminism and the racialized gendering of nation building. She will use the work of several artists as illustration for possible interventions into normative understandings of sex and gender, and gender roles, biological essentialism, the myth of difference, and discuss the possibilities of queerness as a challenge to the notion of a two-sex system. To undermine this system are can be subversive to heteronormative and homonormative understandings of sexuality and identity and open up new spaces for social change.


Gabriel Khan from Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action will present on the history of LGBTI issues in SA and specifically the important role played by the archives. GALA was part of two exhibitions, namely Tracks and Home Affairs.


Jabu Pereira will moderate the panel.










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