Queer Books: Lesser Violence – Volume 1


Lesser Violence – Volume 1 is a new collection of essays and creative non-fiction exploring responses to gendered and sexualised violence in South Africa, from a variety of artistic and intellectual perspectives.

South Africa is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for women, children, and queer individuals and communities. It is also one of the world’s most unequal countries, with a long legacy of violence.

The Lesser Violence Reading Group, formed in 2018 by a group of artists, scholars and activists, was created to generate discussion around possible artistic and scholarly approaches to human existence in this context.

Lesser Violence is the outcome of those conversations. It is a celebration of the work that emerged from The Lesser Violence Reading Group, aiming to share the contributors’ scholarship and artistic practice with a wider audience.

“We continue to live in a state of crisis; we experience emergency daily.” – Amie Soudien, Care amid crisis

Published by the GALA Queer Archive (GALA) and MaThoko’s Books, Lesser Violence was launched at the WITS Art Museum in Johannesburg on 17 May, marking the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

The included writing demonstrates a powerful commitment to processing the effects of South Africa’s legacy of violence, and to rejecting the norms that enable racialised, gendered and sexualised violence. Lesser Violence honours those who have not survived.

Contributors to the publication include B Camminga, Gabrielle Goliath, Keval Harie, Saarah Jappie, M. Neelika Jayawardane, Donna Kukama, James Macdonald, Nondumiso Lwazi Msimanga, and Amie Soudien.

Lesser Violence provides a precedent for new ways of performing possibility and imagining the world differently.

Lesser Violence – Volume 1 can be downloaded for free here (although donations are encouraged).

To request a hard copy, please email karin.tan@wits.ac.za.

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