Bodies and/as Texts: Representing queer on screen in contemporary Africa

The body is an assemblage of not only the physical and the material. The body is a text which is embedded with codes and meanings. There exists solid scholarship on the centrality of screen media in documenting queer identities and practices. However, these studies have primarily concerned themselves with examining screen texts in their attempt to make sense of queer subjectivities. This proposed study sets out to go beyond the analysis of screen texts by focusing on the screened queer bodies as living texts that have the potential to articulate narratives which are normally side-lined my mainstream literary, artistic and media discourses. Drawing largely on Judith Butler’s postulations on “bodies that matter” and “performativity” as performative figures that disrupt essentialising and normalising discourses of sexuality and gender constitution. Through an analysis of diverse screen documents (films, short-films, music videos and documentaries), I set out to examine how queer African bodies projected on screen articulate the intersection between atypical temporalities, race, gender and sexuality. The screen queer bodies, I argue, have the potential to reconstruct not just media and filmic forms, but more importantly how non-normative sexualities and gender identities are constructed and come into discursive being.

Project leader(s):
  • Ncube Gibson (Department of Foreign Languages And Literature, University of Zimbabwe)

Leave a Reply