The inaugural Gerald Kraak Award anthology has been released. Titled Pride and Prejudice: African Perspectives on Gender, Social Justice and Sexuality, the anthology collects the fourteen shortlisted entries to the prize.
The award had been co-won by the Kenyan short story writer Farah Ahamed, for her “Poached Eggs,” and the Ugandan-born Kenyan photographer Sarah Waiswa for her photo collection “Stranger in a Familiar Land.”
Here is a description of the anthology by its publishers Jacana Media.
Pride and Prejudice is the first in the Gerald Kraak Anthology series. The kaleidoscopic collection comprises the most exceptional written and photographic entries for the annual Gerald Kraak Award, which was established in 2016 by The Other Foundation and the Jacana Literary Foundation.
Offering important African perspectives gathered from the continent, this inaugural edition features works of fiction, journalism, photography and poetry. The pieces are multi-layered, brave and stirring. They represent a new wave of fresh storytelling that provokes thought on the topics of gender, social justice and sexuality.
The judging panel comprised the distinguished gender activist Sisonke Msimang as chair, prominent social and political analyst Eusebius McKaiser, and leading African feminist Sylvia Tamale. Commenting on their selections, the chair Sisonke Msimang said:
In the current political environment, we are hopeful that expressions like the ones we have chosen – that do not shy away from pain and are deeply inventive – find their way into the public consciousness. We think Gerald Kraak would have smiled at a number of these entries. Above all, we have aimed to stay true to his love of fearless writing and support of courageous and grounded activism.
Here are the judges’ comments on the shortlisted fourteen entries in the anthology.
- Farah Ahamed, Poached Eggs (Fiction, Kenya) A subtle, slow and careful rendering of the everyday rhythms of domestic terror that pays homage to the long history of women’s resistance. Written with wit, humour and grit, the story also sings of freedom, resistance and the desire to be unbound.
- Beyers de Vos, ‘A Place of Greater Safety’ (Journalism, South Africa) This piece covers the underground issues that are seldom discussed in the South African LGBT+ movement – homelessness, poverty, as well as attraction and violence – with empathy, real curiosity and knowledge.
- Sindiswa Busuku-Mathese, ‘Midnight in Lusikisiki’ (Poetry, South Africa) This poem hums with sadness and sings with anger. It is full of the sort of melancholy that marks the passing of something very important. It provides an opportunity to connect the theme of gender with issues of poverty and political corruption.
- Dilman Dila, Two Weddings for Amoit (Fiction, Uganda) A fresh piece of sci-fi written in a clear and bright way that surprisingly draws on covert and subversive love.
- Justin Dingwall, ‘Albus’ (Photography, South Africa) The choice of exquisitely beautiful high-fashion models to represent people with albinism – who are so often depicted as unattractive – is just breathtaking. It makes its point and leaves you wanting more.
- Amatesiro Dore, For Men Who Care (Fiction, Nigeria) A complex and thoughtful insight into a part of elite Nigerian life, as well as the ways in which buying into certain brands of patriarchy can be so deeply damaging and have direct and unavoidable consequences.
- Tania Haberland, ‘Resurrection’ (Poetry, Mauritius) An erotic poem that is powerful in its simple celebration of the clit.
- Julia Hango, ‘Intertwined Odyssey’ (Photography, South Africa) A solid and thought-provoking collection that forces questions about power. The photos make the lovers (or are they fighters?) equal in their nakedness and in their embodiment of discomfort.
- Dean Hutton, ‘Dean’s Bed’ (Photography, South Africa) An important contribution to conversations about bisexuality, attraction, age and race.
- Otosirieze Obi-Young, You Sing of a Longing (Fiction, Nigeria) A thoroughly modern epic yet with bones as old as time. This is a story of love and betrayal and madness and music that is all the more beautiful for its plainspoken poignancy. But there is also prose in here that takes your breath away.
- Olakunle Ologunro, The Conversation (Fiction, Nigeria) Provides valuable insight into issues of intimate partner violence, family acceptance and the complexity of gender roles in many modern African contexts.
- Ayodele Sogunro, ‘One More Nation Bound in Freedom’ (Academic, Nigeria) An informative piece that gives a crisp and ‘objective’ voice to the many themes that cut across this anthology.
- Sarah Waiswa, ‘Stranger in a Familiar Land’ (Photography, Kenya) This collection of photos showcases the best of African storytelling. The images take risks and speak of danger and subversion yet, at the same time, they are deeply rooted in places that are familiar to urban Africans.
The award and anthology were organised by the Jacana Literary Foundation and The Other Foundation.
The Jacana Literary Foundation (JLF) is a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to promote and foster writing excellence from South and southern Africa through a number of initiatives. By securing funding for key projects, the JLF aims to publish literature that might not otherwise be published for purely commercial reasons. This allows the JLF’s publishing partner, Jacana Media, to produce literature that supports the concept of bibliodiversity. We believe that it is through the reading and writing of local creative works that the truths of our lives are best told.
The Other Foundation is an African trust that supports those who are working to protect and advance the rights, wellbeing and social inclusion of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities for lasting change. To learn more, visit www.theotherfoundation.org.
Find out more here.