The shortlist for the 2017 Gerald Kraak Award has been announced, including The JRB Francophone and Contributing Editor Efemia Chela.
The award was created by Jacana Literary Foundation and The Other Foundation in honour of the late activist Gerald Kraak, and honours African writing and photography that ‘provokes thought on the topics of gender, social justice and sexuality’. On this year’s judging panel are Sisonke Msimang, journalist, activist and author of Always Another Country; Professor Sylvia Tamale, a leading African feminist who teaches law at Makerere University in Uganda; and Mark Gevisser, one of South Africa’s leading authors and journalists.
Chela has been shortlisted for her essay on Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts, ‘Sailing with the Argonauts’, which was published in the inaugural issue of The JRB in May.
- Read: Sailing with The Argonauts: A personal history of Christmas, queerness and Maggie Nelson by Efemia Chela
Judge Sisonke Msimang says: ‘We are really proud of this selection. It represents some excellent writing and thinking, and reflects the diversity of experiences across the continent. It also mirrors many of the themes that continue to dominate the lives of queer people and of African women: depression, harassment, violence, love and joy.
‘There is a fierceness in many of the pieces we selected—a fight back but also a quirky and authentic take on the world that manages somehow not to be defined by the larger often horribly oppressive contexts in which they were written.’
2017 Gerald Kraak Award shortlist
- ‘Facing the Mediterranean’ by Isaac Otidi Amuke (journalism, Kenya)
- ‘Full Moon’ by Jayne Bauling (fiction, South Africa)
- ‘Sailing with the Argonauts’ by Efemia Chela (non-fiction, South Africa)
- ‘Princess’ by Carl Collison (photography, South Africa)
- ‘Africa’s Future Has no Space for Stupid Black Men’ by Pwaangulongii Dauod (non-fiction, Nigeria)
- ‘Existence as Resistance’ by Wandile Dlamini (photography, South Africa)
- ‘The Shea Prince’ by Chike Frankie Edozien (non-fiction, Nigeria)
- ‘The Man at the Bridge’ by Kiprop Kimutai (fiction, Kenya)
- ‘Portrait of a Girl at the Border Wall’, ‘6 Errant Thoughts on Being a Refugee’ and ‘Notes on Black Death and Elegy’ by Sarah Lubala (poetry, South Africa)
- ‘Human Settlements’ by Tshepiso Mabula (photography, South Africa)
- ‘Borrowed by the Wind’ by David Medalie (fiction, South Africa)
- ‘Drowning’, ‘In Jail’ and ‘Things That Will Get You Beaten in a Black Home’ by Thandokuhle Mngqibisa (photography and poetry, South Africa)
- ‘XXYX Africa: More Invisible’ by Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko (fiction, Tanzania)
- ‘We Are Queer, We Are Here’ by Chibuihe Obi (non-fiction, Nigeria)
- ‘Reclamation’ by Hapuya Ononime (poetry, Nigeria)
The winner of the R25 000 award will be announced at a ceremony in May 2018.
The resultant anthology will be published by Jacana Media in 2018.