Iranti [pronounced írantì] is the Yoruba word for ‘memory’. Largely found in South West Nigeria and parts of Benin Republic, the Yoruba people consider memory a prized form of intelligence which determines how often one remembers what they see and hear.
Iranti-Org is a queer human rights visual media organization based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Iranti-Org works within a human rights framework as its foundational platform for raising issues on Gender, Identities and Sexuality. Founded in January 2012 by Human Rights activist, photographer and curator, Jabulani Chen Pereira, Iranti-Org is formed with the clear intention of building local partnerships and movements that use media as a key platform for lobbying, advocacy and educational interventions across Africa. Through the use of various visual mediums such as videos, photography, audio recording, among others, Iranti-Org sets itself as an archive of Queer memory in ways that destabilize numerous modes of discrimination based on gender, sexuality and sexual orientation.
Through such multi-media approaches, Iranti-Org documents issues related to gender and gender identification; sexuality and sexual orientation within varied contexts in South Africa and on the continent. Most importantly, Iranti-Org seeks to find local vernaculars that tell the stories of vulnerable persons simultaneously alongside and outside International Human Rights universalisms. Iranti-Org works with rural and urban populations in South Africa and the region as part of its engagement with civil society at different levels. As a Queer Visual Media Non-Governmental Organisation, Iranti-Org seeks to document the lives of Queer Africans and Africa-based persons with the intention of building visual narrative evidence, creating awareness and influencing the making of policies and laws that advance Human Rights across South Africa and beyond.
Vision and approach
Iranti-Org believes that all human beings have the right to enjoy and celebrate a life of economic, social and political freedom underpinned by dignity and respect.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trandgender and Intersex (LGBTI) persons in Africa experience gross human rights violations. Such violations and abuses include prohibitions against the right to organize, freedom of association, discrimination on basis of sexual identity, denial of access to state services such as health care, education, employment and housing.
Objectives and activities
Since its establishment in January 2012, Iranti-Org has documented hate crime attacks and murders within South Africa. Iranti-Org has worked closely with LGBTI groups in building an effective national campaign against hate crimes and violence.
In the past few months, we have, between June and July 2012,
In July 2012, in collaboration with FEW (Forum for the Empowerment of Women), Iranti-Org developed a national action plan calling for an end to the silence by the South African Government on hate crimes and violence.
On the 18th July 2012 in collaboration with FEW, other national LGBTI groups and individual activists, Iranti-Org mobilized a national protest against the government’s silence on hate crimes and violence against LGBTI persons. Dubbed 67 Minutes of Shame this protest was framed within the 67 minutes devoted to acts of goodwill in honour of Nelson Mandela as South Africa’s freedom and equality icon.
Recently, in collaboration with TIA (Transgender Intersex Africa) and OSISA (Open Society Initiative Southern Africa), Iranti-Org was involvement in the first workshop of its kind on gender identities and sexuality with Beyond Identities –a Soweto-based group for young lesbians.
Role and impact
In the coming months we will continue to meet with key government and political leaders. On the 8th August, together with FEW Iranti-Org will meet with the ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe to discuss a memorandum submitted to the party by various LGBTI organizations on proposed action against hate crimes and violence.
Iranti-Org on Facebook, very lively
Jabulani Chen Pereira
(Founder and Director)
Jabulani Chen Pereira was born in Port Elizabeth South Africa. Jabu now resides in Johannesburg and is a Photographer, Videographers, Curator, Researcher, Activist and a Leader in human rights. Jabu prefers the gender pronoun ‘they’ and identifies as gender queer. Jabu obtained their masters of degree at New York University. Jabu was a Ford Foundation Fellow. They worked in the human rights sector for the past 20 years and continues to do so as a visual activist. Human Rights Documentation is foreground in the work of Iranti-Org, a vision Jabu develop over a period of time.
Jennifer-noxolo Musangi was born in Mwingi, Kenya. Musangi lives between Johannesburg, South Africa and Nairobi, Kenya. Musangi is currently a Doctoral Fellow at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER) at the University of the Witwatersrand. Besides being a researcher and an ardent blogger, Musangi is a Queer activist, the Program Associate at Iranti-Org and sits on the Advisory Board of US-based Queer African Youth Networking Centre (QAYN).
Ayanda Msiza lives in Daveyton, East of Johannesburg. She is the co-founder of a young and the first LGBTI organisation in Daveyton; Uthingo-The Rainbow. Ayanda has been instrumental in LGBTI activism in areas around Johannesburg and has volunteered at a number of LGBTI organisations in the region. Ayanda would like to think of herself as an activist, visual artist, leader and a hardworker. She holds a certificate in Marketing Management and is keen to develop her photography and documentation skills during her time with Iranti-Org.
Kelebogile Ntladi was born in Soweto and raised on the East Johannesburg in Leondale, Gauteng Kelebogile ‘Lebo’ Ntladi’s work is a combination of Fine Art, Social documentary and portrait photography. Lebo is interested in human interaction and stories of people on the margins of society, often simple people who want to exist under the radar. Lebo is currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa and is on a visiting position at Iranti-Org.
Botshelo Mondi describes herself as a 23yr old art fanatic born and raised in Rustenburg. Botshelo studied Fine Arts at the Vaal University of Technology where she majored in ceramics sculpture. Botshelo’s artworks have been shown in both Switzerland and South Africa. In 2012 Botshelo started experimenting with editing and photography and also opened a mini beaded accessories business which exposed her to various forms of artistic expression. Botshelo is determined to learn and passionate about art for she believes that SHE IS ART. Botshelo brings a wealth of talent and energy to Iranti-Org.
Selogadi Mampane began performing at the age of 11 and has since never stopped. Her passion for performance necessitated exploration in the fields of research. She is currently undertaking her Masters studies at the University of Pretoria, in the field of gender, race, cultural, performance and film studies, focusing her research around female masculinity. She describes herself as an activist who utilises inter-disciplinary arts mediums to explore social issues. Her talents cover the disciplines of writing, directing and performance in film and theatre. Her performance work has been shown at the University of Pretoria and she has performed at platforms such as the Grahamstown Arts festival. She is most concerned with utilising arts mediums to explore the stories and experiences of LGBTIQ women. Her performance art is constructed through the processes of workshop, where she constructs art out of explorations done with her cast and the community around her. Selogadi believes that art is the means to explore, interpret and understand the world around her.