Agenda- empowering women for gender equity: Call for abstracts for 2015 Agenda Journal



Call for ABSTRACTS for 2015 AGENDA Journal



Contributors are invited to write on the topic above from either a research or an activism perspective. Abstracts and contributions must be written in English and in a style accessible to a wide audience.  Please submit abstracts to or


No later than 10th October 2015


Agenda has been at the forefront of feminist publishing in South Africa for the past 28 years and raises debate around women's rights and gender issues. The journal is designed to promote critical thinking and debate and aims to strengthen the capacity of both men and women to challenge gender discrimination and injustice. The Agenda journal is an IBSS/SAPSE accredited and peer reviewed journal


GUEST EDITORS:  Danai Mupotsa, Mpho Matsipa and Dorothee Kreutzfeldt


Conceptual Rationale:

Conceptual Rationale:

The images of Alfabeto Nhamuavhe’s body burning, or Emmanuel Sithole’s broken skull on the street provoke disgust and fear. While records of discrimination against foreigners have been recorded in South Africa’s post-apartheid history, it was not until May 2008 when 62 people were killed and tens of thousands were displaced that we came to speak of xenophobic violence. Again, in April 2015 we saw a return of spectacular forms of its enactment. The term is hotly contested, partly because many who are subject to the violence also happen to be South African citizens. It is contested also because the victims are black. While xenophobia more generally refers to a fear or hatred of the stranger and in relation to the nation-state it is the foreigner who is this figure. Yet the case in South Africa reveals instead a figure of an Other that is relationally and affectively constituted outside.

The dimensions of feeling elicited by images of xenophobic violence demanded explanation and as Pumla Gqola suggests, it has often been with ease that we try to interpret, conclude and offer narrative closure to acts that we find incomprehensible and out of step with broader social attitudes. There are three versions we rehearse about the young men we read as perpetrators:

  • They are the face of the masses disgruntled by lack of service delivery
  • They are anti-social criminals ruining the international image of a reconciled, transformed nation
  • They are not all that unique in fact, this is part of a global wave of xenophobia that always has to do with scarcity (Gqola 2015:13)

In this special issue, we wish to include thoughtful and thorough engagements on the subject of xenophobia that resist the urge to treat it as a phenomenon distinct from the everyday business of institutional and affective state making.

“Xenophobia” and “xenophobic violence” “stick” as words used to variously describe a range of scenes and experiences, albeit with limited imagination. We are interested in meditations that address this “stickiness” and provoke questions in excess of these terms. We emphasize the place of emotion as institutional and affective, creating “others” by “working through signs on bodies to materialise the surfaces and boundaries that are lived as worlds.” (Ahmed 2004: 191) The nation as a site of belonging that relies on boundaries between insiders and outsiders and feelings like fear, hate and love generate those very boundaries.

More specifically, if the boundaries of inclusion national and otherwise are made in relations between people, what are the technologies, vocabularies and grammars of this boundary making? What are the technologies, vocabularies and grammars of difference? If national belonging is a spatially mediated set of relations that police, order and control who can be considered inside or outside, what is the relationship between ordinary every instances of this and the more spectacular instances of violence witnessed during these particular incidents? What relations do the aforementioned questions bear in relation to sex and gender difference, and is there anything particularly different about this kind practice of difference its violence, and gender based violence more generally?

We invite papers and responses to consider the following, but not limited to issues, themes, questions or provocations:

  • How is national belonging broadly understood? What are the signs, objects and feelings we attach to it?
  • How does gender inform or frame the question of national belonging?
  • Why is it images of young men that “stick” as signs of spectacular violence?
  • Who feels like a “proper” citizen in South Africa, or other countries and on what basis?
  • What would a history of women’s access to citizenship and national belonging look like, and what kinds of questions might it provoke as a point of orientation?
  • Women, black lesbians and queers continue to be prone to large scale forms of violence, how can we place this in discussions concerning national belonging?
  • How can violence be read structurally and symbolically as a set of constitutive relations the produce certain kinds of bodies?
  • What kinds of vocabularies about bodies and people, “proper” and “strange” inform or shape how we understand difference?
  • How do the incidences of “xenophobic violence” of 2008 and 2015 mobilize solidarities and attachments to ideals of the nation and/or the self?
  • In what ways can thinking about sexual and racial difference better orient our understanding of national belonging?
  • What feelings are attached to the nation?
  • How are everyday forms of intimacy, attachment and belonging attached to the spectacular forms of violence?
  • How are technologies of difference aestheticized?
  • How does space and the ways persons and relations are made in space shape the making of difference?
  • What strategies or modes of relating and making self do people practice as they pass through spaces to which they may not necessarily belong?

In this issue we also ask authors to pay attention to space and place making as important dimensions for careful analyses of xenophobia. We also wish to attend to images as one technology or attachment that the sentiments of national belonging move through and encourage contributors to consider some aspects of visual analysis.


About the Guest Editors

Danai Mupotsa is lecturer in African literature at the University of the Witwatersrand. Her research is oriented towards reading everyday intimacies.

Mpho Matsipa is an adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University and a lecturer in SoAP, at Wits University. Her research interests are rooted in an interdisciplinary approach in Architectural theory and urbanism, with a focus on Southern African cities, race and representation.

Dorothee Kreutzfeldt is an artist whose work over the last years has largely been defined by collaborations, often within specific urban contexts.


If you have specific questions concerning your submission to the special issue you may address them directly to the guest editors:;;


Submission Guidelines for Agenda Journal

The following guidelines are intended to assist authors in preparing their contributions.



Agenda invites contributions from feminist and gender scholars, activists, researchers, policy makers, professionals, educators, community workers, students and members of women’s organizations and organizations interested in and concerned with gender issues.


Submissions should contribute to developing new thinking and fresh debate on women’s rights and gender equality in Africa and other developing countries.


Writers need to:

  • Write in an accessible and understandable style;
  • Inform, educate or raise debate;
  • Try to pin down reasons for contradictions and point out differences of opinion;
  • Provide an analysis and an argument;
  • Be logical;
  •    Be sensitive to but not uncritical of how gender, class and race affect the reporting of an event;
  •    Ensure the introduction encapsulates the contents of the piece and that it attracts the reader’s attention by either making a controversial statement, providing a thought-provoking or new insight into the subject;
  •    Utilize a gender or feminist lens.


We publish articles in various formats, which range from 6,000 words for more theorized articles, which form the main reference pieces in an issue, to shorter pieces with a minimum of 1,500 words.


Formats of Contributions

  • Article (6 000 words max) should be based on new research and contain analysis and argument.
  • Briefing is an adaptable format for writers to write on a wide range of subjects (2 500 - 4 000 words)
  • Focus examines an aspect of a chosen theme in detail (4 500 words max)
  • Profile looks in detail at an organisation, project or legislation, or a person (2 500 - 3 500 words)
  • Report-back covers reports on meetings, conferences workshops etc
  • (1 500 - 4 000 words)
  • Review typically reviews books or films (1 500 - 3 000 words)
  • Interview can record a conversation among a group of people or a one-on-one interview in which the writer asks the interviewee/s questions on a subject (1 500 - 3 000 words)
  • Open Forum is a vehicle for debate and argument, or pieces which deal with argument and difference of opinion on a subject/issue (2 500 - 4 000 words)
  • Perspective is an adaptable format in which writers are able to use a more personal reflective, narrative style (1 500 - 3 000 words)








Contributions should be submitted in the following format:

File type:         Microsoft Word

Font:               Arial

Size:                 10 pt

Line spacing:   single

Justification:   left

Referencing:   Harvard style


All submissions should have the following:

Abstract:         200 - 300 words

Keywords:       approx 5 keywords

Bio:                  100 - word author biography, including email address

Bio picture:     head-and-shoulders photo in 300 dpi jpeg format

Contributors are encouraged to provide photos and/or graphics to illustrate their submission


Selection and Editing Process

All submissions are peer reviewed. Articles, briefing and focus pieces go through a double blind peer review process, while all other contributions are reviewed by at least one member of Agenda’s Editorial Advisory Group.


Reviewers comment on the suitability of a text for publication in the Agenda journal, as well as provide comments to help develop the piece further for publication if required. Contributors will be asked to rework the paper accordingly.


On resubmission, the piece will be assessed by the Agenda editor and a final decision made regarding its publication in the journal.


Please note that Agenda reserves the right to edit contributions with regard to length and accessibility or reject contributions that are not suitable or of poor standard.


Agenda also invites the submission of poems on the topic of women’s rights and gender.


Please note, as per Agenda’s policy, writers who have published in the journal within the last two years  WILL NOT BE ALLOWED to publish – to allow new writers to publish in Agenda.







Agenda Feminist Media Sec. 21 Company

REG. No. 2000/000870/08 – NPO : 011-258 : VAT No : 4930131109

Room E302, Diakonia Centre, 20 Diakonia Ave, Durban, 4001 / Postal: P O Box 61163, Bishopsgate, 4008

Telephone: +27 (0)31 304 7001/2/3 : Fax: +27 (0)31 304 7018 : Website:


Board Members: Janine L Hicks (Chair), Dr Barbara Boswell, Adv. Devina Perumal, Prof Grace A Musila, Lee Stone,

Asha Moodley (EAC), Prof. Relebohile Moletsane (EAC)

"Human rights, artists and poets"

The Mercury Newspaper published a review of the 2015 Art of Human Rights Project in its 09 July issue written by Marianne Meijies. The write up also details our recent projects and some of the work we do as an NPO. These are the images that they published from the Art of Human Rights catalogue. The art reproductions are available for R800.00 and catalogues for R200.

Art and social justice & the media connection

The Art and Social Justice and the Media Connection publication edited by Dr Mike Hajimichael a Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2015.

‘This concept was inspired by my friend and one of the contributors to this book, Jan Jordaan, from Durban, South Africa, where the founding conference took place in 2010.

Since then, conferences have happened in Nicosia, Cyprus (2011) and Gernika, Spain (2012). While most of the chapters in this volume come from the second conference, the general spirit of ASJ, and its uniqueness as a forum and amalgamation of academics, artists and activists, is also present in this volume. This collection of essays and reflections by invited academics and artists takes on and interrogates different art forms and how these relate/connect to different forms of media. This is particularly important to many people due to the fast developing and ever changing

media environment. Generally, the book contains chapters in three key areas (with some overlaps). These are art, social justice and ethics, connections with media in different contexts, and art, social justice and practice-based research.’ Introduction by Mike Hajimichael

An evaluation of the knowledge, attitude and practices of South African university students regarding the use of emergency contraception and of art as an advocacy tool

Written by E.J. Kistnasamy; P. Reddy; J. Jordaan  

Abstract: This study assessed the knowledge and use of emergency contraception (EC) against the background of current sexual practices among a multi-racial student population at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. In addition, the use of art as an advocacy tool in promoting awareness of EC and related sexual issues was also evaluated.

Method: A random sample of 162 students with equal representation of race and gender was interviewed. The questionnaire used addressed knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding contraception, with emphasis on EC and current sexual practices. It was administered by trained interviewers at three different sites at the DUT, where the Kara Walker image was also displayed on banners by Art for Humanity (AFH).

Results: Over 77% of participants indicated that EC was some sort of birth control or contraceptive method. Only 51% of the respondents felt that EC was a good form of contraception and 27% of all students indicated that it should not be used at all. However, given a choice, 66% of African students would use it, compared to 46% Indian, 31% coloured and 52% white students. The various levels of undergraduate study (i.e. first to third year) did not impact on the level of knowledge of or attitude towards the use of EC among students. Students had health and social concerns, including that if more men were informed about EC, they may use it to pressure women into having unprotected sex. Over 90% of students knew that EC did not provide protection from HIV, AIDS and STDs. Of the 162 students questioned, only 21% had seen the Kara Walker poster and their responses to the banner were varied. While a few students thought that it was an inappropriate portrayal of women, most students who saw the banner thought it was effective in drawing attention to the consequences of unsafe sexual practices.

Conclusion: It is imperative that concise information and pre- and post-counselling be provided by health care professionals to empower individuals at tertiary institutions to make informed choices with respect to reproductive health. Proper dissemination of information will create awareness and enhance wider acceptance and the use of the arts as an advocacy tool may further promote health education.  

Read the full text:


As we speak hundreds of foreigners are being chased out of their homes and their shops looted. This is happening all around Durban. This morning we spoke with some of them. They are scared, and most want nothing more than to go home. I felt ashamed as a South African as I heard their stories of hardship and deep pain. DDP will be convening dialogues with these different groups so that they can speak with a common voice about their concerns and fears, and just to hear their stories and know that there are some of us who care.

Most of these stories are not known to many of us and perhaps through the creation of this space our basic humanity and compassion will be triggered to demonstrate our sense of Ubuntu and hospitality.

Whilst we are doing this there is an urgent need to feed the hungry children and women who are in these camps around Durban, as well as possibly with assisting transporting some of them back to their homes, as they no longer feel welcome here.

If you feel moved to help please make a deposit to the following DDP account. A full breakdown of disbursement will be provided on our website. Any amount, no matter how small, will be appreciated. These people need our help now.

BANK:                               STANDARD

BRANCH:                          WINDEMERE

BRANCH NUMBER:         042726


ACCOUNT NUMBER:       508 474 81




Kind Regards

DDP Team

2 Floor, DDP House,

32 Dullah Omar Road,

Durban, 4001

T 031 304 9305

F 031 306 2261


DIALOGUE INVITATION- Home away from home! or is it reaally?

Intimidation and violence against foreign nationals and internal migrants has been an ongoing feature of post-Apartheid South Africa. While the most intense period of intimidation and violence took place in May 2008, similar patterns of behaviour began long before and have yet to stop. The intolerance against foreign nationals occurs in locales with high (but not the highest) levels of economic deprivation, high percentages of male residents, high levels of informal housing, and high levels of language diversity (including many South African and foreign languages).

The key trigger against outsiders in specific locations appears to be localised competition for political (formal and informal) and economic power. Leaders, and aspirant leaders, often mobilise residents to intimidate and/or attack and evict foreign nationals as a means of strengthening their personal political or economic power within the local community. Lately, there has been overwhelming evidence of violence against businesses owned by African migrants particularly in Gauteng and in some regions of KwaZulu-Natal

This intolerance and violence is a symptom of broader challenges of legitimate and accountable local governance, especially in informal settlements. It is likely to continue if concerted efforts to address impunity and scapegoating are not instituted speedily. The government has made small steps in these directions but there is a lot that needs to be done. One of the ways to address this situation is by having conversations amongst ourselves as citizens and our migrant communities to question those aspects of our society that seem to be driving us apart as Africans.

Our key conversational questions are:

  1. What is driving us apart from each other?
  2. How can we, together as citizens, co-exist peacefully and co-create sustainable communities?

Come and make your voice heard!


Event dDetails:

Speaker:     Prof Ahmed Bawa- Vice Chancellor of Durban University of Technology.

DATE:            14 April 2015

TIME:             4:30 for 5:00-7:00 pm

VENUE:         DUT, City Campus, Room 207

ADDRESS:    Corner of Smith St, Warwick Ave & Berea Road, Tel: 031 373 2000

PARKING:     Safe off-road parking is available

COST:             Free

RSVP:             Please complete the form below and send to DDP via or fax 031 306 2261 on or before 2 April 2015.

                      Seats arelimited and restricted to those that have confirmed.


For general enquiries call 031 304 9305



  • Equality: You cannot be discriminated against. But affirmative action and fair discrimination are allowed.


  • Human Dignity: Your dignity must be respected and protected.


  • Life: You have the right to life.


  • Freedom and security of the person: You cannot be detained without trial, tortured or punished cruelly. Domestic violence is not allowed.


  • Slavery, servitude and forced labour: Slavery and forced labour are not allowed.


  • Privacy: You cannot be searched or have your home or possessions searched.


  • Freedom of religion, belief and opinion: You can believe and think whatever you want and can follow the religion of your choice.


  • Freedom of expression: All people (including the press) can say whatever they want.


  • Assembly, demonstration, picket and petition: You can hold a demonstration, picket and present a petition. But you must do this peacefully.


  • Freedom of association: You can associate with whomever you want to.


  • Political rights: You can support the political party of your choice. If you are a citizen, and at least 18 years old, you can vote.


  • Citizenship: Your citizenship cannot be taken away from you.


  • Freedom of movement and residence: You can go and live anywhere in South Africa.


  • Freedom of trade, occupation and profession: You can do whatever work you choose.


  • Labour relations: You may join trade unions and go on strike.


  • Environment: You have the right to a healthy environment.


  • Property: Your property can only be taken away from you if the proper rules are followed.


  • Housing: The government must make sure people get access to proper housing.


  • Health care, food, water and social security: The government must make sure you have access to food and water; health care and social security.


  • Children: Children under the age of 18 have special rights, like the right not to be abused.


  • Education: You have the right to basic education, including adult basic education, in your own language (if this is possible).


  • Language and culture: You can use the language you want to and follow the culture that you choose.


  • Cultural, religious and linguistic communities: Communities can enjoy their own culture; practice their own religion; and use their own language.


  • Access to information: You have the right to any information, which the government has.


  • Just administrative action: Actions by the government must be fair.


  • Access to courts: You can have a legal problem decided by a court, or a similar structure.


  • Arrested, detained and accused persons: This right protects people who have been arrested, imprisoned or accused.


  • NOTE: All these rights can be limited if it would be fair to do so