Showing posts with label Africans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Africans. Show all posts

February 21, 2018

"Taboos" Breaks Just that in Africa Even With an Unfair Porno Classification




 The boys with painted faces and the 'teacher' This ceremony still goes on today Young initiate Kwanda (Ncoyini, left) "represents something extremely positive and for me," says Trengove. "There's a new generation of queer kids in South Africa that is exactly that: defiant, outspoken (and) spirited." CNN photo



South African regulators have classified a touching gay love story as R-rated, “effectively labeling the film as pornography and pulling it out of cinemas,” the film’s producers said.
Released Feb. 2 in South Africa, Inxeba attracted so much protest in some areas that cinemas pulled the film, fearing for the safety of their staff. Yet the film garnered praise on social media and received positive reviews, with some critics urging audiences to see it because of the public outcry.
Protestors contend the film mocks the isiXhosa custom of ulwaluko, the initiation that boys must undergo before becoming men. The secretive practice sees hundreds of young men sent “to the mountain” or “to the bush,” a term meant to describe the isolation of the process during which they also are circumcised.
Shot in isiXhosa on location in the rural Eastern Cape, the film followsKwanda, an openly gay young man who is sent to from the city to rural South Africa to attend traditional initiation school for Xhosa boys. In his ritual isolation from society, he is cared for by Xolani, a lonely factory worker who has not yet come out as gay. Kwanda’s questioning of traditional ideals of manhood upend the tradition he is participating in and threaten to expose Xolani’s secret.
The film’s scenes of the secretive initiation and its conversations around masculinity seem to have irked the more conservative sectors of South African society. Those opposed to the film object to what they say is cultural appropriation, while those supporting the film extol its expression of gay rights. The tenor of the debate illustrates the divide between South Africa’s liberal constitution and its sometimes conservative society.
The Film and Publications Board reclassified the film from 16LS to X18. Its decision for the stricter classification came after complaints from a branch of the Congress of Traditional Leaders and the Men and Boy Foundation (which seems to have no online presence or contact information).

             FPB
URGENT ANNOUNCEMENT:
The Film and Publication Board (FPB) Appeal Tribunal has overturned the classification rating of 16 LS given to the film Inxeba – The Wound and gave it a rating of X18 with the classifiable elements of Sex, Language, Nudity, Violence and Prejudice.
The classification means the film cannot be shown in commercial cinemas and “can only be distributed at designated adult premises”—the kind of conditions that hardcore pornography is distributed under in South Africa. The exact reasons for the reclassification are not clear, but the board is legally mandated to clarify its decision, the producers said in a statement sent to Quartz on Feb. 20. They plan to challenge the board’s decision.
“We are taking the matter very seriously and will not let it rest,” said Helen Kuun, head of Indigenous Film Distribution.
The film’s star, Nakhane Touré, received death threats long before the film’s release and has avoided interviews. A musician, novelist and actor who also happens to be a Xhosa man, Touré broke his silence on social media over the banning. Several human rights and free speech organizations lent their voices to the outcry over the classification, while some South Africans began online petitions to challenge the classification.
The film’s co-writer, Thando Mgqolozana has called the ruling “anti-creation and draconian.” Mgqolozana’s debut novel, A Man Who is Not A Man, also delved into the contradictions of this secretive cultural practice. The danger of maiming and death of initiates during circumcision or while they are exposed to the elements in isolation is a constant news item in South Africa. Mgqolozana worked with director John Trengrove to create a short film based on his semi-autobiographical novel before they worked together on Inxeba. 
 Those who oppose the film argue that it disrespects cultural norms by exposing some elements of the secretive ritual. Others argue that a white director and white producers had no right to tell this story, despite starring Xhosa men and being co-written by a Xhosa author.
“This movie Inxeba is an appropriation and complete distortion of black people’s cultural tradition of ulwaluko,” wrote the founders of the Facebook page ‘Inxeba The Wound Must Fall.’
“Some people who are not Xhosa men might say there is nothing wrong with the movie but as we Xhosa men we can see that they are mocking our tradition which was supposed to be kept as a secret,” said Shaun Mgecwa, who started the Facebook campaign to ban the film. Mgecwa told Quartz that the violence and strong language in the film casts a negative shadow on a process that is meant to teach men how to be the head of a household and how to behave respectfully in society.
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Adamfoxie🦊 Celebrating 10 years of keeping an eye on the world for You.           [There will be final changes soon coming soon!]


adamfoxie.blogspot.com brings you the important LGBT news others ignore. Does not repost from gay sites [except out.sports.com only when a well known athlete comes out]. Will post popular items with a different angle or to contribute to our readers tastes🦊

February 6, 2018

Circumcision and Gay Love Sparks Controversy On Movie"The INXEBA/The wound"











Secrets brought to the big screen. (AP Photo/Obed Zilwa)
The creators of Inxeba/The Wound always knew the film would be controversial. A hidden gay romance set in the secretive world of a traditional initiation school for Xhosa boys, the film sparked outrage long before it was re
Secrets brought to the big screen. (AP Photo/Obed Zilwa)

The creators of Inxeba/The Wound always knew the film would be controversial. A hidden gay romance set in the secretive world of a traditional initiation school for Xhosa boys, the film sparked outrage long before it was released.


The film’s weekend release on Feb. 2 in cinemas around the country led to protests and some cinemas pulling the film after staff members were threatened. The producers persevered, with no major incidents taking place, except for the public debate on masculinity, cultural appropriation and the lengths communities have to go to protect their traditions. The knee-jerk response to the film, the first South African film  available on Netflix, is mostly linked to media coverage describing it as a gay love story among initiates, but the film is much more than that. The film’s producers argue that anyone who actually sees it and engages with its subject matter would immediately understand this. It follows the story of Xolani, played by musician and author Nakhane Touré, a lonely factory worker who also acts as a caregiver to initiates while they are isolated from society in the bush.
An openly gay city boy is Xolani’s charge this season, threatening to reveal Xolani’s own unspoken truth. Kwanda’s expensive sneakers and his insistence on wearing a nose ring along with his traditional initiates garb challenges notions of traditional masculinity in this rural setting, while his constant clashes with the other initiates openly question what it means to be a Xhosa man. Among the complex set of characters is Vija, a man trapped by his own traditions and social expectations of who must be as a man.
Critics argue that the film threatens to reveal the secrets of ulwaluko, Xhosa initiation rituals that are purposely shrouded in mystery. Each year, thousands of South African boys undergo circumcision as a rite of passage across several different cultures.
The age-old practice has come under modern scrutiny for initiate deaths at the hands of unscrupulous practitioners. While there have been attempts to regulate the practices, and modernize the tools and aftercare used, the vast majority of South Africans know few details of what goes on in the mountain. Most proponents of initiation believe that’s exactly how it should stay.
While the film is set among the temporary huts of the initiates (which will be burned down once they are men), it depicts little that is not already known by the public. The circumcision that marks the initiation process is dealt with sensitively, but it is not the center of the film, neither is it fetishized as those outside of the culture have done before.
Instead, its questions about manhood and being gay in South Africa are what drive the story in a country where same-sex marriage may be legal, but homophobic murders are rarely adequately prosecuted. This is also not the first time LGBTQI rights have been discussed within this rite of passage. It isn’t even the first time the process has been publicly discussed, as former president Nelson Mandela described his own experience in his bestselling memoir Long Walk to Freedom.
Critics of the protests have further questioned the selective outrage of the demonstrators. Protestors, including the Xhosa king, say it reveals the jealously guarded secrets of a tradition that has managed to endure oppression and modernization. If a story like this is to be told at all, whose right is it to tell that story, argue critics who see the film as the appropriation of Xhosa culture.
“It is not okay to subjectively delve into traditions and practices you are not a part of under the guise of sparking debate and engagement,” write Lwando Xaso and Zukiswa Pikoli, directly addressing John Trengrove, the film’s director. “It is not your place because you are not speaking as a member of that society.” Trengove is a white South African.
In what is one of the more sound criticisms of the film, the two Xhosa women writers argue that it was not the place of a white man to tell this story. That Trengrove wrote the screenplay with author Thando Mgqolozana, a black man who also happens to be the founder of an all-black literary festival, is seen as a “cheapening of our people,” they argue. 
Inxeba/The Wound has sparked a lot of conversations that is prompting more publicity than the low budget film could have hoped for, but it has been a painful experience for the producers and stars, who have endured death threats. In spite of this, it has managed to do what good art should: evoke uncomfortable but necessary conversations. Preventing screenings of Inxeba/The Wound won’t silence those questions.
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adamfoxie🦊 Celebrating 10 years of keeping an eye on the world for You

adamfoxie.blogspot.com brings you the important LGBT news others ignore. Does not repost from gay sites [except out.sports.com only when importat athlete comes out].Will post popular items with a different angle or to contribute to our readers🦊 

November 7, 2016

African Govts.Trying to Rid of New UN Gay LGBT Rights Monitor





 
African nations are seeking to initially suspend and then get rid of the first U.N. independent expert charged with investigating violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Botswana's U.N. Ambassador Charles Ntwaagae said Friday that African nations want the General Assembly to delay consideration of a Human Rights Council resolution adopted on June 30 that authorized the appointment of an expert to monitor LGBT rights in order to discuss "the legality of the creation of this mandate."

Ntwaagae told the 193-member world body that a General Assembly resolution introduced by African nations seeking a delay also calls for suspending the activities of the first expert, Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand, who was appointed on Sept. 30, pending a determination of the legality.

The assembly is expected to vote on the African resolution on Tuesday.

The Human Rights Council resolution establishing the LGBT expert was adopted by a vote of 23-18 with 6 abstentions, reflecting the deep divisions internationally on gay rights.

The U.N. has worked to improve the rights of the LGBT community in recent years but has repeatedly run into opposition from some member states — especially from countries in the Middle East and Africa as well as China and Russia. According to a U.N. human rights report last year, at least 76 countries retain laws used to criminalize and harass people on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, including laws criminalizing consensual same-sex relationships among adults.

Ntwaagae said African nations "are alarmed" that the Human Rights Council is delving into national matters and attempting to focus on people "on the grounds of their sexual interests and behaviors, while ignoring that intolerance and discrimination regrettably exist in various parts of the world, be it on the basis of color, race, sex or religion, to mention only a few."

African nations are also concerned that sexual orientation and gender identity are being given attention "to the detriment of issues of paramount importance such as the right to development and the racism agenda," he said.

Ntwaagae said African countries want to stress that sexual orientation and gender identity "are not and should not be linked to existing international human rights instruments."

Muntarbhorn, a law professor who has been on the council's Commission of Inquiry on Syria and previously served as U.N. special investigator on North Korea and on child prostitution and child pornography, was given a wide mandate by the Human Rights Council for three years.

It includes looking at ways to overcome violence and discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, addressing the root causes, and working with states to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

U.S. Deputy Ambassador Sarah Mendelson expressed deep concern at the African resolution, telling the assembly that the Human Rights Council has approved numerous resolutions on people experiencing violence and discrimination, including those belonging to minority groups.

Mendelson said the African measure would have the General Assembly re-open a Human Rights Council mandate for the first time and could undermine the council's ability to function.

She urged the assembly to support an amendment expected to be introduced by Latin American and Caribbean nations that would remove the African call to delay the Human Rights Council resolution and suspend Muntarbhorn.

Francesca Cardona, speaking on behalf of the European Union, stressed that countries must "protect the human rights of all individuals without distinction of any kind."

She said any attempt to call into question the legitimacy of the council resolution establishing the independent expert to protect against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity "has no legal foundation."

September 27, 2014

Gays from Africa Looking for Asylum in New York


                                                                             
Nigeria’s passage of a law criminalizing same-sex relationships drew immediate international outrage earlier this year. In New York, gay activists held protests outside the Nigerian government’s offices, something that amazed Rahima Gambo. With so much of life hidden in Nigeria, she said, nothing so bold would have happened there.
That realization led Ms. Gambo, a Nigerian photographer raised in London, to explore the lives of the growing number of gay men who have fled to the United States seeking asylum and a chance to live freely. It was during the March protest in New York that she met Saheed Ipadeola, a young man living in Brooklyn who introduced her to other asylum seekers. They shared their stories in ways that would never be seen in Nigerian media, which she said reduced them to stereotypes without dignity.
She saw them as survivors.
“Many of the men I document are proud of their identities and still connected to family members in Nigeria, but there’s this constant strain of wanting to be vocal but fearing for family and loved ones,” Ms. Gambo, 28, said. “All of the men always say there was nothing to go back to. They all talk of this fatigue of the Nigerian system, and the law being passed was a final nail in the coffin.”
Ms. Gambo started her project earlier this year while in graduate school and later pursued it as a Magnum Foundation fellow. The enactment of Nigeria’sSame Sex Marriage Prohibition Act in January effectively banned homosexuality, making it illegal for gay people even to hold meetings. The law reinforces hatred of the gay community, the asylum seekers said, going far beyond mere opposition to same-sex marriage. Two men can be jailed for holding hands or other public displays of affection. Homosexual clubs, associations and organizations were outlawed, with penalties of up to 14 years in prison.
Photo
CreditRahima GamboSaheed Ipadeola, 28, is a Nigerian asylum seeker living in the United States. He arrived in 2012 and is still waiting to gain asylum. He works as a kitchen porter in a hotel in Brooklyn. Aug. 5, 2014.
While same-sex unions have not been a widespread cause among gay Nigerians, activists asserted that the new law was an alarmed reaction to the support of same-sex marriage in the United States, reflecting fears that it could become a local issue and rallying point. Activists told Ms. Gambo it had already prompted people to flee out of concern for their health and safety.
Desiring a better life, to live freely without shame or fear, some of them wind up at programs like the Asylum Project, run by Housing Works in Brooklyn, which provides gender-rights activists from sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria and Uganda with assistance obtaining legal asylum, housing, jobs and medical care.
Many of her subjects requested anonymity. Many, too, shared heartbreaking experiences.
“I was told stories of a young H.I.V.-positive man who was banished from his family home and sent to live with his 90-something-year-old grandmother in rural Nigeria, and with a lack of health care, he died,” Ms. Gambo said. “A lesbian woman was held captive in a church for six months and forced to endure corrective rape. L.G.B.T. people in rural areas and many urban areas in Nigeria don’t know that there are services for them, and now the law affecting them makes things even more difficult.”
There are economic and health impacts too, Ms. Gambo learned. One resident of the asylum house had worked as a community organizer in the gay community who advocated sexual health services, including giving away condoms to prevent the spread of H.I.V. The new law, he felt, made him a criminal for supporting gay rights.
“What do you do if the law criminalizes your job?” he said. “I’m married with two kids, what do I do now? I feed my family from the work I do; I have to run for my safety and the future of my family. I lived with the fear of jungle justice, people pointing me out in the street.”
The moral stigma associated with homosexuality, he and others feared, drives people into the closet. That, in turn, increases the community’s heath risks if people can’t access critical health and medical services.
Photo
CreditRahima GamboFor many Nigerian gays and lesbians living in New York, even those who have had their asylum request approved, there is still a very real fear of the impact that their sexual orientation becoming public will have on family members back home. Bloom Global Pride Party, Harlem. June 2014.
These vulnerabilities of gay men are not unique to Nigeria. An undercover culture of men on the “down low” exists in the African-American community too, particularly in the South, where religious beliefs and family pressures force some to lead secret lives. Being black and gay in America is double trauma for the asylum seekers, because racism is something they now have to face in the United States.
Still, it is better than what they have endured in their homelands. And they see Ms. Gambo’s work as important to drawing attention to their plight here and back home.
“The work Rahima is doing is critical considering the antigay law that was passed and considering many other African countries working to criminalize or have already criminalized people for basically who they choose to love,” said Adejoke Tugbiyele, who met Ms. Gambo at a pride parade. She is both a subject in her series as well as an artist who made “AfroOdyessy,” a film that examines the complex issues surrounding homosexuality in Nigeria.
Ms. Gambo’s images reflect the loneliness and isolation experienced by gay asylum seekers from Africa. Issues of trauma, depression and suicide often plague them. As a result of being disowned by their families, many had already risked homelessness. Her photos show them trying to change their lives — if not their homeland — in their new community.
“I wanted to explore what that feeling of displacement felt like and the broken and new bonds that formed when you were rebuilding your life and your identity in a new country,” she said, “suddenly free to explore your identity without fear of shame, harassment or violence.”
Fayemi Shakur is a writer based in Newark. Her work has been featured in Nueva Luz Photographic Journal, Hycide Magazine and The International Review of African American Art.
Follow @RahimaGambo, @7fayemi, and @nytimesphoto on Twitter. Lens is also on Facebook.

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