Lesbian love ripples through Windhoek
The exhibition titled Creating ourselves in our own image was on display at the Goethe Centre in celebration of International Human Rights Day and Namibian Women’s Day. This exhibition portrayed the lives, challenges, aspirations and dreams of young lesbian women in Namibia, including intimate personal moments and public political statements.
Produced by the Women’s Leadership Centre (WLC), this exhibition was developed together with the many young lesbian women across Namibia who participated in the Building Feminist Lesbian Leadership Programme of the WLC.
During 2013 this programme focussed on strengthening the resilience and resistance of young lesbian women to homophobic stigma and discrimination, violence and the risk of HIV and Aids.
In deepening their understanding of human rights and women’s rights, participants were empowered to claim and assert their right to dignity, respect, bodily integrity, autonomy and choice.
Through various art forms, participants were able to increase their self-knowledge, self-acceptance, self-expression, pride, voice, visibility, leadership and citizenship as young lesbian women in Namibia.
Together, they created new ways of being a young lesbian, and used writing, photography and other forms of creative expression for “Creating ourselves in our own image”.
Through this project, young lesbians further took the lead in their towns and villages to share human rights knowledge and ways of protecting themselves from stigma, discrimination, violence, HIV and Aids. They showed their faces in advocating for their collective rights.
Two booklets were also produced collaboratively through this project: one for young lesbian women titled: Being Ourselves! Being Resilient! and one for their parents, families and friends titled: Loving and Supporting our Lesbian Daughters. The WLC will travel to various towns in Namibia in 2014 with this exhibition and the booklets, conducting workshops on women’s rights/human rights for young lesbian women and their families.