Sequins, Self & Struggle: Performing and Archiving Sex, Place and Class in Cape Town Pageants (Southbank Centre, 17-19 July)

Reposted from the London Southern African Studies Network

Sequins Self and StruggleWe are delighted to announce that the final symposium for the AHRC-funded project, ‘Sequins, Self & Struggle: Performing and Archiving Sex, Place and Class in Cape Town Pageants’, has moved to the Southbank Centre as part of the Mandela Weekend.

We have assembled an extraordinary group of artists, activists and academics working on space, archives and sexuality in Southern Africa. This promises to be a weekend of rich and dynamic discussion, and we hope you can join us. This event is free, but requires registration.

Please register here:


Friday 17 July (Southbank Centre, St Paul’s Pavilion)

10 – 10.15am Opening and welcome

Catherine Cole (University of California, Berkeley): Immorality Acts: Forbidden Sexuality in South Africa

11-11.15am Coffee break 

11.15am-12.45pm Histories, Spaces and Archives

Nadia Davids (Queen Mary University of London)
Queer Cosmopolitans: A second look at the District Six Archives

Naomi Roux (London School of Economics)
Double vision and suspended conversations: landscapes of memory in South End, Port Elizabeth

April Sizemore-Barber (Royal Holloway, University of London)
The MGWC archives in relation to GALA

12.45-2pm Lunch  

2-3.30pm Drag Pageants

Graeme Reid (Human Rights Watch)
Performing gay identities in small town beauty pageants

Glenton Matthyse (University of the Western Cape)
Participation in Miss Gay Western Cape

Bryce Lease (Royal Holloway, University of London)
From RuPaul to the Cape Flats: MGWC and Glocal Drag

3.30-3.45pm Coffee break  

3.45-5pm Mark Gevisser (Author and journalist)
TransGender TransNational: The case of Tiwonge Chimbalanga and other queer refugees in the ‘Global Culture Wars’  

6.30pm Exhibition opening (Embassy Tea Gallery, 195 – 205 Union St, London SE1 0PB)
‘Coloured’ curated by Siona O’Connell (University of Cape Town)


Saturday 18 July (Southbank Centre, The Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall)

11am-12pm Talk
Graeme Reid (Human Rights Watch)
Sex and Politics: What role did sexual politics play in South Africa’s troubled passage to democracy?

12-1pm Lunch 

(Southbank Centre, Weston Roof Pavilion)


1-2.30pm LGBTQ Pride and Representation
Zethu Matebeni (University of Cape Town), Contesting Apartheid Legacies/Pride Events in Cape Town

Jay Pather (University of Cape Town), Interrogating form in the performance of black queer identities in contemporary performance

2.30-2.45, Coffee break 

2.45-3.45pm Performance Lecture
Mojisola Adebayo (Goldsmiths and Queen Mary University of London)
I Stand Corrected

3.45-4pm Break 


4-5pm Keynote
Anthony Bogues (Brown University)
Thinking about decolonization; the archive and the African body

Wine Reception 5pm

There are several extra events as part of the Mandela Weekend connected to the symposium that may be of interest:[artform]=4436

Sunday 19 July

Southbank Centre
The Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall
Nadia Davids, Writing Home

Playwright and novelist Nadia Davids discusses her work with writer Margaret Busby. The South African artist creates performances and literary works that explore the complex, vibrant – and barely chronicled – world of Cape Town’s Muslim community under and post apartheid and post 9/11.

Over the Rainbow: LGBT Rights in South Africa

Gay rights have been at the heart of debates surrounding public culture and nationhood in post-apartheid South Africa. This panel considers the role that sexuality has played in the construction of the ‘Rainbow Nation’ – a name which implies a crossover between multiracialism and gay rights.

The panel includes Mojisola Adebayo, Mark Gevisser, Zethu Matebeni, Glenton Matthyse, Jay Pather and Graeme Reid, and is chaired by Bryce Lease


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