2018 Gerald Kraak queer anthology & award finalists announced


The late Gerald Kraak

The artists and authors selected to feature in an annual African queer anthology of fiction and non-fiction writing and photography have been announced.

In addition to having their work published in the upcoming book by Jacana Media, the individuals, who come from across Africa, are also in the running to win the Gerald Kraak Award.

The annual anthology and award were launched in 2016, in honour of late South African activist and author Gerald Kraak. As 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.

The first anthology, Pride and Prejudice, was published in 2017.

“We are really proud of this selection. It represents some excellent writing and thinking, and reflects the diversity of experiences across the continent,” commented Sisonke Msimang, one of the judges and the series editor.

“It also mirrors many of the themes that continue to dominate the lives of queer people and of African women: depression, harassment, violence, love and joy.

“There is a fierceness in many of the pieces we selected – a fight-back but also a quirky and authentic take on the world that manages somehow not to be defined by the larger often horribly oppressive contexts in which they were written,” said Msimang.

The winner, who receives a cash prize of R25 000, will be announced at an award ceremony in May 2018, hosted by project funder, the Other Foundation, and attended by the winning author.

A special mention will be made and an invitation extended to authors who have been identified by the judges as the most commended, which will also be revealed during the award ceremony.

In alphabetical order by surname, here are the shortlisted authors and works:

  • Facing the Mediterranean by Isaac Otidi Amuke (journalism, Kenya)
  • Full Moon by Jayne Bauling (fiction, South Africa)
  • Sailing with the Argonauts by Efemia Chela (non-fiction, South Africa)
  • Princess by Carl Collison (photography, South Africa)
  • Africa’s Future Has no Space for Stupid Black Men by Pwaangulongii Dauod (non-fiction, Nigeria)
  • Existence as Resistance by Wandile Dlamini (photography, South Africa)
  • The Shea Prince by Chike Frankie Edozien (non-fiction, Nigeria)
  • The Man at the Bridge by Kiprop Kimutai (fiction, Kenya)
  • Portrait of a Girl at the Border Wall, 6 Errant Thoughts on Being a Refugee, and Notes on Black Death and Elegy by Sarah Lubala (poetry, South Africa)
  • Human Settlements by Tshepiso Mabula (photography, South Africa)
  • Borrowed by the Wind by David Medalie (fiction, South Africa)
  • Drowning, In Jail, and Things That Will Get You Beaten in a Black Home by Thandokuhle Mngqibisa (photography and poetry, South Africa)
  • XXYX Africa: More Invisible by Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko (fiction, Tanzania)
  • We Are Queer, We Are Here by Chibuihe Obi (non-fiction, Nigeria)
  • Reclamation by Hapuya Ononime (poetry, Nigeria)

This year’s judging panel features head judge and series editor Sisonke Msimang, author of Always Another Country and a writer and storyteller whose work appears regularly in the New York Times, The Guardian, Newsweek and a range of other international publications.

Others on the panel are Professor Sylvia Tamale, a leading African feminist who teaches law at Makerere University in Uganda and Mark Gevisser, a leading author and journalist who has documented South African queer and political history.

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