“Homophobia in Africa is not a single story”

Not a topic I know much about, but Keguro Macharia’s criticism of Madeleine Bunting’s Guardian post about Malawi’s conviction of a gay couple to 14 years’ hard labour, jibes with the gut-anthropological-reaction I had when I read her piece. (He also links to what look like some interesting books on the subject.)

Without a locally based understanding, rooted in a history of Malawi and a grasp of its cultural politics, we cannot comprehend what is at stake in the case. Discussions that frame the case as Malawians opposing westernisation tell only a very partial story.

Read more.

(via Ennis)

2 thoughts on ““Homophobia in Africa is not a single story”

  1. HRW
    This Alien Legacy
    The Origins of “Sodomy” Laws in British Colonialism

    “This 66-page report describes how laws in over three dozen countries, from India to Uganda and from Nigeria to Papua New Guinea, derive from a single law on homosexual conduct that British colonial rulers imposed on India in 1860. This year, the High Court in Delhi ended hearings in a years-long case seeking to decriminalize homosexual conduct there. A ruling in the landmark case is expected soon.”

    It’s a story, but it’s specific.

  2. Thanks for reminding me about that great HRW report. I read it when I was studying the history of so-called Criminal Tribes in India, so I forgot about the African connection..

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