- Are told you are angry no matter what you say
- Witness people’s eyes rolling as soon as you open your mouth as if to say: ‘oh here she goes!’
- Are angry because that’s a sensible response to what is wrong
- Are often accused of getting in the way of the happiness of others (or just getting in the way)
- Have ruined the atmosphere by turning up or speaking up
- Have a body that reminds people of histories they find disturbing
- Are willing to make disturbance a political cause
- Are willing to cause unhappiness to follow your desire
- Will not laugh at jokes designed to cause offense
- Will take offense when it is there to be taken
- Will point out when men cite men about men as a learned social habit that is diminishing (ie. most or usual citational practice)
- Will notice and name whiteness. Will keep noticing and naming whiteness.
- Will use words like ‘sexism’ and ‘racism’ even if that means being heard as the cause of bad feeling (and are willing to cause bad feeling)
- Will refuse to look away from what compromises happiness
- Are willing to be silly and display other inappropriate positive affects
- Are willing to listen and learn from the work of feminists over time and refuse the caricatures of feminism and feminists that enables a disengagement from feminism
- Are prepared to be other peoples’ worst feminist nightmare
- Are prepared to be called a kill joy
- Are willing to kill joy
Dear Black Feminist Killjoy Reading Group,
Thanks to all of you for reading, sharing your thoughts, laughing and dancing with us over this year. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.
Our first reading for next year will be Tsitsi Dangarembga’s novel Nervous Conditions. Here’s a link to the pdf if you want to read it over the holidays.
Also, there’s a new series of interviews with African Feminists (including Pumla Dineo Gqola, Amina Mama and Yewande Omotso) on the Youtube channel of the African Feminist Forum.
Wishing you all the best with exams and the end of year holidays. See you in 2018.
In our next meeting we will engage in creative writing, movement and performative exercises, as a way to practice creative theorisation.
Our next BFK meeting will be on Tuesday 19th September at 16.30h where we will have the presence of the wonderful South Africa poet and scholar Gabeba Baderoon (thanks to Dr Lynda Spencer and her UCAPI project for making this possible). Here a text of Gabeba’s on the issue of domesticity and race in the home space and here an interview with poet and writer Matthew Shenoda and here and here some poems.
Our meeting this week is dedicated to what inspires Black Feminist Killjoys, and you are invited bring along material that inspires you to discuss it with the group.
Our last reading group for this term was dedicated to re-membering and playing children games, sharing different ways how to play elastics, jump-roe, hand-clapping, counting-out-rhymes, musical chairs and other games, culminating in an exciting 30-seconds match. It was amazing to see how much is shared across languages, regions and generations when re-membering games and rhymes collecively.
We’ll meet again in July to read the first novel by Senegale author Mariama Bâ, So Long A Letter (original title “Une si longue lettre”, download it here) which won the first Noma Award for Publishing in Africa. By the way, the whole of the African Writer Series can be accessed here using your university library user details.
Please present text/image/video examples of feminist killjoys (from art, popular culture or else) in our next meeting. To prepare our sharing of feminist kill-joy we’ll read the conclusion of Sara Ahmed’s book, entitled “Happiness, Ethics, Possibility” which reflects about the promiscuity of the word happiness: “After all, words can bring things into existence; words can do things, even if we don’t always know what it is they will do.” (p. 200)