by Siyasanga Joyi & Thekwane Bongi Mpisholo
Beyond Binaries was the title given to the group which attended a three day meeting that took place at Wits University from the 20th to the 22nd June. The meeting was held with the purpose of creating an alliance between Southern countries, and saw a merging of minds and ideas between individuals from different spectrums and nations, namely Turkey, San Francisco, South Africa, Mexico and Australia.
The atmosphere was one overflowing with a concoction of mixed emotions and uncertainty. Anxiety, overwhelm and fear of the unknown were but some of the sentiments that initially played in the scene. However, that was soon to be replaced by deliverance that exceeded expectation. Some of the agendas included discussions about gender-based violence, sexual minority, diversity, freedom of speech, as well as desensitization of the community and society at large.
The function saw a number of sixteen attendees who were present. Amongst the delegates who attended were Vek Lewis (PhD Professor at Australian University), Abeyami Ortega (PhD Professor and activist from Mexican University), Ed McCaughan from San Francisco University (PhD Professor), Sivval Kilic (Transgender Activist) from Turkey, Gabrielle Le Roux, (activist, artist, student of life, humanitarian) from Cape Town , Julia Charlton (Wits University Director), Tracey Klarenbeek (Head of Sociology at Wits University), Haley McEwan (Wits University Sociology Department and organizer of the overall meeting), Kuleke Mawola (Programme Directore at Blue Sky Funding), Thekwane Bongi Mpisholo (videographer from Inkanyiso, activist, artist, writer, archivist, and researcher), Tapuwa Moore (writer, performer, and theatre director and curator, and Naze Flavier
( Transgender Activist) from Burundi.
What some speakers and members of the audience had to say
“In my home, Burundi I was chased told it’s not safe after I went to the Cape Town trangender conference”.
“I am blessed to be amongst you guys with different stories that will inspire my next piece in theatre work”
“In Mexico the police blackmail the family with regards to their loved one’s photos being published after they were found dead to the public”.
“What we have accomplished here now is a platform for future generations to continue our legacy”.
“This is how funding is 1st application is between 20 000.00 duration to spend funds and 2nd application is between 1 n 3 million” duration to spend the money is 3 years”.
– Kuleke Mawola:
Objectives and goals were to create awareness, building a tolerant society that is not homophobic nor trans-phobic. For all those who are within the lgbti community that were going. Tools which will be used to obtain objectives and goals are the collaborations
between Gabrielle Le Roux with transgender portraits and messages on the portraits. While Muholi will presents pictures of transgender men as part of ongoing Faces & Phases project.
Where to from now the mission of the exhibition to be launched by the 30 January – 30 March 2014. The exhibition should not only be made available at the wits museum, where people from different locations surrounding Johannesburg will be offered transport to come.
But include it being taken to the people in the locations as well for better attendance. Having a summary of the exhibition translated to at least six different languages in order to incorporate in our South African diverse culture.
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