This groundbreaking volume, the first of its kind written by African activists themselves, aims to inspire a new generation of students and teachers to study, reflect and gain fresh and critical insights into the complex issues of gender and sexuality. It opens a space – particularly for young people – to think about African sexualities in different ways. This accessible but scholarly multidisciplinary text, from a distinctly African perspective, is built around themed sections each introduced by a framing essay. The authors use essays, case studies, poetry, news clips, songs, fiction, memoirs, letters, interviews, short film scripts and photographs from a wide political spectrum to examine dominant and deviant sexualities, analyse the body as a site of political, cultural and social contestation and investigate the intersections between sex, power, masculinities and femininities. The book adopts a feminist approach that analyses sexuality within patriarchal structures of oppression while also highlighting its emancipatory potential.
As well as using popular culture to help address the ‘what, why, how, when and where’ questions, the contributors also provide a critical mapping of African sexualities that informs readers about the plurality and complexities of African sexualities – desires, practices, fantasies, identities, taboos, abuses, violations, stigmas, transgressions and sanctions. At the same time, they pose gender-sensitive and politically aware questions that challenge the reader to interrogate assumptions and hegemonic sexuality discourses, thereby unmapping the intricate and complex terrain of African sexualities.
The blend of approaches and styles enhances the book’s accessibility and usefulness for teaching as well as allowing for historical and textual contextualisation.