The late Gerald Kraak
The late activist Gerald Kraak has been honoured with the creation of a new anthology of African LGBTI writing and photography in his name.
The Jacana Literary Foundation and Jacana Media have announced the establishment of the annual Gerald Kraak Award and Anthology. These have been made possible by a partnership with The Other Foundation and funding from Atlantic Philanthropies.
The anthology will feature English language writing and photography from and about Africa. Exceptional works which explore, interrogate and celebrate the topics of gender, sexuality and human rights will be short-listed, and given a voice.
According to Jacana, the anthology and award have been created in honour of “Kraak’s extraordinary legacy of supporting human rights” and “will advance his contribution to building a South Africa that is safe and welcoming to all.”
Pieces that engage with gender and sexuality in ways that promote new understandings of and insights into human rights on our continent will be sought for the anthology, said Jacana. A cash prize of R25 000 will be awarded to the author of the winning piece.
To help ensure that the anthology is distributed across the continent, Jacana will supply “brave, like-minded publishers” with print-ready files of the anthology at no cost to enable them to publish and sell the book in their country of operation.
Jacana is calling for submissions for the anthology and the award. The subject matter must relate to gender, human rights and/or sexuality in Africa, can be almost any kind of writing or photography, and must have been created by a citizen of an African country, who lives and works on the continent.
Kraak, who died in 2014 at the age of 57 after a battle with cancer, had an extraordinary impact on South Africa’s LGBTI community – including the country’s landmark adoption of marriage equality.
As an anti-apartheid activist and the head of the South African office of Atlantic Philanthropies, he was responsible for bringing a vast amount of international funding to the LGBTI rights movement in the 1990s.
Kraak supported many NGOs, community groups, authors and events such as the Out in Africa Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and Philanthropies funding allowed LGBTI organisations to successfully lobby the ANC and the courts to ensure that lesbian and gay marriage became a reality in South Africa in 2006.
He also authored two books, including the European Union Literary Award-winning exploration of South African politics, Ice in the Lungs (Jacana, 2005), and directed a documentary on gay conscripts in the apartheid army.
The closing date for the Gerald Kraak Award and Anthology is 31 July 2016. For more details and to submit a work, click here.