Theme for the 2009 Cape Town Pride Festival
Cape Town Pride has clashed with LGBTI community organisations over the theme for the 2009 festival.
According to reports, organisations in the city, such as Triangle Project, have objected to the theme “Pink Ubuntu: Jou ma se Pride” chosen to represent next year’s event.
They claim that that the term “Jou ma se Pride”, a play on an insult commonly associated in a derogatory manner with the Cape’s coloured community, could be seen as offensive to both coloured people and to women.
In a statement issued on Monday by Cape Town Pride, Chairperson Glenn de Swardt defended the theme:
“The choice of the theme was fed, in part, by a need to identify a quintessentially localised ‘Cape Town’ brand for the 2009 festival,” he said.
He added that, “We contend that, while particular words and phrases may offend some elements of the LGBTI community, we also need to feel empowered to challenge and address the perceived symbolism of such words and phrases.”
De Swardt slammed the LGBTI organisations for having undertaken “a virulent email campaign” around the issue without contacting or discussing the matter with Cape Town Pride.
“We express our concern that, despite our repeated, ongoing attempts to engage with LGBTI organisations, most have chosen not to interact with us directly. Indeed, we were informed of the current debate around our 2009 theme by a concerned member of the public,” he said.
He further noted that in spite of Cape Town Pride’s 2008 Annual General Meeting being widely publicised only one LGBTI organisation was represented by one of its volunteers.
Despite the fracas, De Swardt invited LGBTI organisations to engage with Cape Town Pride. “It is thus incumbent on us to be open, direct and sincere in our interactions and to promote collective solidarity in a responsible and mature manner.”
The 2009 Cape Town Pride Festival is set to take place from 19 February to 1 March, with the street parade on Saturday 28 February.