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Tensions and contradictions of being African, feminist and activist within LGBTI social movements:: An Autoethnographic Account
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, The Department of Gender Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 80 credits / 120 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In this thesis, I explore the tensions and contradictions of being African, feminist and activist within sexual and gender minority social movements. I ask how an African activist with multiple backgrounds negotiates the different personal and political landscapes, tensions she encounters, as well as the implications this has for activism work. This study is meant to complement the growing body of activism publications, which, though varied and rich, tend to shy away from depicting and critically analyzing the internal problems experienced in groups, because of differences of ideological perspectives, backgrounds and power differentials. Using an autoethnographic methodology I analyse how a lesbian feminist activist, engages in self-reflections on life outlook, belonging, art and contentious online African and international activism. My materials include extracts of email conversations within two online discussions, my own art pieces and memories of my experiences. The theoretical framework includes situated partial perspectives, disidentification and unlearning. My analysis shows that my situated Kenyan - Swedish backgrounds have affected not only my art, but my thought processes which in turn affect how I engage in different activist contexts. Tensions and contradictions with other activists show how ideological differences, situated perspectives, age and power differentials determine the outcome of some activism agendas. My findings also suggest that activism encounters can lead to partial affective distancing, disidentifications, multiplicitous and holographic identities. Furthermore our origins, and experiences matter a lot in shaping our feminism ideals and ways of working. These ways of working reveal various instances of oppression, subjugation and privilege, effected by maternal affiliations, online invisibility, ethnic and indigenous identities and language. In conclusion, I argue that much more self-reflection, self-revelation, accommodation for individual differences and analysis of our ways of oppressing is required, for activism work to be successful and mutually beneficial.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 76 p.
Keyword [en]
African, tensions, feminism, disidentifications, lesbian, situated-perspectives, autoethnography
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-107074ISRN: LIU-TEMA G/GSIC2-A--14/003/--SEOAI: diva2:721683
Subject / course
Gender Studies - Intersectionality and Change, Two Year
Available from: 2014-06-05 Created: 2014-06-04 Last updated: 2014-06-05Bibliographically approved

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Ocholla Master Thesis(740 kB)411 downloads
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Ocholla, Akinyi Margareta
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