A passerby is photographed with his head inside a rainbow Africa cutout, underneath the statue of Louis Botha at Parliament. (Photo: Naib Mian)
Scalabrini Centre, a migrant rights and resources organisation, officially launched its ‘Let’s Face It’ campaign in March as part of an effort to promote gay and lesbian rights and highlight emerging hate crimes legislation.
They’ve cited the 20th anniversary of South Africa’s Constitution, the first to recognise gay rights, as a fitting time to take up the issue.
In a photo-campaign they call “Pop Up Pride,” starting on Human Rights Day, the Human Rights team at Scalabrini has been taking a rainbow cutout of Africa around various areas in Cape Town.
The board contains information about gay and lesbian rights and why it isn’t Un-African, an idea they say is commonly used to oppose the rights of people with different sexual orientations on the continent. On the front it reads “Let’s Face It. LGBTI / Gay Rights ARE Human Rights,” and individuals can have their picture taken putting their face through a hole in the board.
The organisers hope to reach 1,000 photographs by Khumbulani Pride, an event on 21 May in Khayelitsha to commemorate victims of homophobic violence.
Once the project is complete, they plan to create a book of the photos to fundraise for African gay and lesbian communities.
Neil Goodwin, Human Rights Officer at Scalabrini, said the idea was born out of the intersectionality between homophobia and xenophobia.