AFRICA’SOUT! invited Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, artist and creator of the Stop Telling Women to Smile art series, and Nairobi based, None on Record to collaborate on Love in South Africa, a public art project that celebrates the black queer community in South Africa. With large-scale murals and wheat pasted posters, Tatyana creates a series of portraits of queer and lesbian couples from various cities in South Africa to New York City. Pasted in neighborhoods around New York City, the work pushes for the acceptance of African queer lives by placing the narratives and images of queer couples, cis and trans, into the public through murals and street art. None on Record interviewed four queer couples in South Africa, and based on digital images from those interviewed, Fazlalizadeh, sketched the couples. Her hand drawn sketches were then reproduced on posters and pasted in New York City in June of 2016. Fazlalizadeh now plans to head to South Africa to paste posters there as well.

Love in South Africa, an expansion on the Stop Telling Women to Smile project, looks at how homophobia and sexism intersect to influence how queer black women and transgender people in South Africa are treated in outdoor spaces. Similarly Love in South Africa uses street art and the outdoors as a medium to address the harassment and violence that many women face in the outdoor space and to speak back to the perpetrators.

None on Record produces the digital media component of Love in South Africa, in a 4 minute documentary. Lead by director/producer Selly Thiam, None on Record is an African LGBT digital media organization that produces multi- media documentaries about the experiences of LGBT people on the Continent and in the diaspora. The team at None on Record believes that a story is the shortest distance between two people and that narratives do transform people’s lives.

“Collaborating on Love in South Africa is another opportunity to produce complex and powerful narratives about African LGBT people that challenge the status quo.” Selly Thiam, Spring 2016.

To learn more about the Love in South Africa project check out Africa’sOut!. To learn more about Tatyana Fazalizadeh and her work visit: tlynnfaz.com

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