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Focus on Africa

An upcoming conference hosted by Queen’s will put the focus on advancing human rights and health for sexual minorities in Africa.

{QAD 2016)“Reimagining Global Solidarities for LGBTQI ‘empowerment’ in Africa,” being held Friday Oct. 21-Sunday, Oct. 23, will bring together more than 20 African and North American scholars, activists, and government officials to brainstorm new approaches and discuss the attainment of human rights and dignity for sexual minorities in Africa.

The first day of the event is the Queen’s Africa Day Colloquium, which is aimed at fostering dialogue between Queen’s students, faculty, staff, and the wider Queen’s and Kingston communities. Hosted at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre the colloquium will bring together researchers, academic associations and community associations with interests in Africa-related issues for discussions as well as to celebrate African arts and culture through music and art. A number of activities are scheduled throughout the day, including a lunchtime talk by David Kuria Mbote, executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya.

On Saturday and Sunday a workshop bringing together researchers from Queen’s and Dartmouth, both members of the Matariki Network of Universities, will be held at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and Theological Hall. Other delegates will be coming to Queen’s from Global Affairs Canada, and universities in Canada, the United States and South Africa.

The workshop is aimed at highlighting the ongoing work by graduate students and faculty at Queen’s, explains organizer Marc Epprecht, head of the Department of Global Development Studies. Dr. Epprecht says that the workshop is also aimed at fostering a “long-term and robust relationship between Queen’s and Dartmouth College focused on the study of Africa.”

“Dartmouth has several notable scholars on faculty, a world-class collection of African art and undergrad exchange programs to Africa,” he adds. “We will reach out from this partnership to connect to our other Matariki partners such as Durham University, which established the first Western-style university college in Africa nearly 200 years ago (Fourah Bay College, Sierra Leone). We hope through this network to get delegates to come to Queen’s for the Canadian Association of African Studies conference to be hosted here in May 2018, and to make that conference a truly international event.”

Highlights include a debate entitled “Where do we Go From Here?” featuring Liesl Theron, co-founder and former executive director of Gender Dynamix, John McAllister, a former lecturer with the University of Botswana and S.N. Nyeck, an independent scholar. Other panel discussion will focus on the perspectives of governments and donors as well as for African activists. Ms Theron will also be giving the SNID lecture on Thursday, Oct. 20, entitled “Trans Nation: What has changed for trans people in South Africa”.

More information and schedules can be found at the Queen’s Africa Day page on Facebook.