Call for Submissions: Gerald Kraak Award

Deadline: 31 July 2016

Call for Submissions: Gerald Kraak Award

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A major new annual arts award has been announced for African writers and photographers working in the areas of gender, human rights, and sexuality. The Gerald Kraak Award, in honour of the pioneering South African LGBTI activist and philanthropist, is open, unusually, to journalists, academics, and bloggers as well as poets, fiction writers, and photographers and carries a substantial first prize of 25,000 rands.

The best work submitted will also be spotlighted in a book-length anthology to be published by Jacana Press in South Africa in collaboration with a network of other independent publishers throughout Africa, including Africa World Press (Ethiopia), Amalion (Senegal), FEMRITE (Uganda), Kwani (Kenya), Weaver Press (Zimbabwe) and Wordweaver (Namibia).

Any writing or photography by an African citizen who lives and works on the continent is eligible as long as it “explores, interrogates or celebrates” the intersections of gender, sexuality, and human rights and “tells a story or illustrates an idea.”

The Gerard Kraak Award is part of a surging wave of cultural LGBTI activism in Africa that is augmenting (though not supplanting) the more conventional forms of activism that have dominated the movement until recently. The growth of cultural LGBTI activism over the past several years — with LGBT film projects and film festivals, artists’ collectives, writers’ workshops, theatre festivals, photo projects, and dance companies appearing in almost every corner of the continent — signals a new maturity in the movement.

Cultural activism is also the best way to change ordinary people’s attitudes towards gender and sexual rights, and changing attitudes is the prerequisite for changing laws and policies. As a way of encouraging and rewarding the best work of emerging African LGBTI writers and photographers, the Gerard Kraak Award seems certain to be an important catalyst in the continuing growth of cultural LGBTI activism on the continent.

Full details of eligibility, submission guidelines, deadlines etc. at


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