In this podcast, Cassandra Roxburgh interviews Keval Harie, the Director of GALA Queer Archive in Johannesburg. They talk what it takes to create a living, breathing, contemporary, community archive; the role of digitisation in making queer history more accessible, and how stories of queer lives push against the lack of queer representation in the mainstream media.
“The objective of the archive is to say, that in every corner of this continent, despite the laws, despite awful governments…there are queer people living lives of remarkable joy and beauty and grace and community and resilience.”
You can download a transcript of this conversation using the link at the top of the page.
Notes on the conversation
Various organisations, projects and people are mentioned during the podcast. Here is some more information from Cassandra on some of the key ones Keval and Cassandra talk about.
The Gale Archive Project works with the academic community and archives across the world to digitise physical materials and create searchable databases of primary sources.
The Trans Collective Archive was a partnership entered into with the Trans Collective, a group that emerged from the decolonial project at the University of Cape Town. The archival partnership documented queer stories from the Rhodes Must Fall and Fees Must Fall Student Movement.
The Qintu collection Meanwhile is a collection of graphic short stories about everyday queer life in Southern and East Africa.
Helen Zille is the Chairperson of the Federal Council of the Democratic Alliance, a liberal political party in South Africa. In early March 2022, just after appearing at a Pride march, she claimed that pronouns were woke propaganda. In the past, she has frequently expressed transphobic viewpoints.
The Justice for Queer SA campaign was a campaign pulled together by several organisations to mourn the queer lives lost to hate crimes in 2021.
Podcast edit: Tom Anderson-Hall
Intro music: Eliza Lomas