Black Queer Space and Belonging

Authors: Xavier Livermon*, The University of Texas at Austin
Topics: Sexuality, Africa, Human Rights
Keywords: sexuality, space, queerness, Johannesburg, Blackness
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Roosevelt 1, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

This paper uses the creation of Black Queer Space(s) in contemporary Johannesburg in order to consider the impact of belonging as a constitutive category of politicized (Black) queer identities in South Africa. Drawing from the work of Mikki van Zyl, the paper argues that belonging requires a nuanced rethinking of concepts like homonormativity and the framing of rights based sexual citizenships. Working in and through Black Cultural Politics, belonging suggests a set of entitlements that both escape human rights discourse and resist encapsulation as normativity. Examining cultural production and leisure space as two sites of interest, the paper argues that forms of cultural belonging provides a critical framework for understanding Black queer politics.

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