Queer Worldmaking in Wanuri Kahiu's Film Rafiki

Queer Worldmaking in Wanuri Kahiu's Film Rafiki

Author: 
Johnstone, Lyn
Place: 
Oxon
Publisher: 
Taylor and Francis
Date published: 
2021
Record type: 
Journal Title: 
Journal of African Cultural Studies
Source: 
Journal of African Cultural Studies Volume 33 2021 Issue 1 pp. 39-50
Abstract: 

This article argues that Wanuri Kahiu's film Rafiki is an exemplar of worldmaking in queer African cinema. By analysing key scenes from the film, I uncover the ways in which Rafiki offers queer Kenyans a visual affirmation of a queer world which exists counter to the world of hegemonic heteronormativity in Kenya. Key contributors to Rafiki's worldmaking potential, I argue, are the director's use of tropes of futurity, horizon, and queer utopic space in the film's plot and narrative. Extending the idea of queer utopic space to the viewing experience of audiences, I show how the practice of queer worldmaking extended beyond the screen to the space inside the cinema in the seven days that the film's ban was relaxed and Rafiki was screened in Kenya.

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CITATION: Johnstone, Lyn. Queer Worldmaking in Wanuri Kahiu's Film Rafiki . Oxon : Taylor and Francis , 2021. Journal of African Cultural Studies Volume 33 2021 Issue 1 pp. 39-50 - Available at: https://library.au.int/queer-worldmaking-wanuri-kahius-film-rafiki