by Lesego Tlhwale
On the 1 June 2013 while the Inkanyiso crew went to Alexandra to celebrate one of our members (Zandile Makhubu) 21st birthday party, I had to board a 10 hour long flight to Munich, then a four hour drive to Salzuburg, Austria. Unfortunately I landed at a period when parts of Germany was hit by floods that has displaced so many residents.
How I got to go to Salzburg: About two months back, Zanele Muholi and I were invited by the Salzburg Global Seminar (SGS) institute to come and attend the first ever LGBTI and Human Right Seminar hosted by the SGS.
We thought to ourselves that since we produce, document, educate and disseminate information to many readers, it was also a good opportunity for us to learn and share our strategies with external publics who are activists and allies.
SGS has hosted over 500 sessions on different topics and for the first time in the history of the institution they have opened the 506 session titled: LGBTI and Human Rights: New Challenges, Next Steps. The session is a weeklong seminar which brings together over 60 participants from 35 countries to discuss wide-ranging topics, from the rule of law and international institutions, gathering data on LGBT issues, and potential role of philanthropy, to queer film-making and the use of social media.
Muholi is invited on her own professional capacity as a renowned visual activist and will be having a conversation with Klaus Muller, session Chair and other artists who are invited about ways of seeing ourselves through art (4 June 2013). I on the other hand is going to be sharing my expertise on social media with the group and also present Inkanyiso’s work.
The topic of the panel I am part of will be Social Media and LGBT Identities in the 21st century: access, distribution, new social spaces and limitations (5 June 2013).
Other South African participants that are invited to the seminar are Sibongile Ndashe who is an International Lawyer based in London, United Kingdom. Ndashe is a human rights lawyer and currently working for Interights and her work there focuses on regional human rights litigation, working before the African Commission on human and peoples’ with a focus on discrimination.
Ndashe and other panelist opened the seminars with an intense discussion about The Rule of Law, International Institutions and LGBT Human Rights (2 June 2013) . The discussion touched on the effects of UN Resolution on LGBTI communities.
Sudeshan Reddy, who works at the United Nation Information Centre, Pretoria is also here and will be assisting with collecting working group recommendations for the Salzburg statement.
The level of expertise in this seminar is enormous, and sharing a platform with a diverse group of professionals is an experience I will cherish my whole life.
The seminar is housed at the SGS home in the historical Schloss Leopoldsskron Palace, and it will run from the 2 – 7 June 2013.
For further details and updates on this seminar, please visit
LGBT and Human Rights: New Challenges, Next Steps
LGBTI = Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex persons.
Previous articles by Lesego
2013 May 18: After Mask … Hear Us Out