feature: this is faka – “we wish to create a dialogue that transcends the bounds of queer activist rhetoric”

November 12, 2015

Using the intercourse of sex, race and identity as a constant and central source of dialogue, FAKA (founded by Fela Gucci and Desire Marea) is the Post-Gospel book of revelation which places both human history and human evolution at the forefront of a necessary indestructible conversation which speaks to the source of humanity. This group of South African performance artists represent a sexual revolution which chants to what will become the future mantra of black queers, and all the while they are set on dismantling barricades to human existence. Being opposed to the discourse of activism which is often exclusive and esoteric existing predominantly in the hallways of academia, FAKA has instead chosen to use the most natural and accessible vessel, the human body, to communicate its themes.

By Mlilo Mpondo, AFROPUNK Contributor



“We seek to reify and validate the new vocabularies that communicate the liberation of black queer identities. We wish to create a dialogue that transcends the bounds of queer activist rhetoric. Rather, it is a discourse of intersectional body politics that are rooted in the structural oppression of black bodies that we are more interested in challenging.”


(Photo credit: Nonzuzo Gxekwa)

(Photo credit: Kristin-Lee Moolman)


Because the human anatomy is the most intimate portrayal of humanity, and in its bones and melanin both ancestry and contemporary experiences thrive and exists, the body is used here to represent the uncomfortable familiar.


“We teach complexities in a radical fight for our own humanity. Being everything and everyone in one body at one time, through performative existence in virtual and live spaces, is the medium through which we’ve chosen to teach. Beneath that is an infinite backdrop of our blackness, supporting the contextual wealth of the imagery we explore in our attempt to forge a new unapologetically black queer identity that best reflects our honest experiences as new black queers.”

(Photo credit: Kristin-Lee Moolman) 


Through this medium their work is an invitation into a personal space made public for honest interaction and brazen interrogation. With their bodies they de-objectify and reify the essentiality of the human soul in its most naked and liberated form, doing as it pleases when and how it pleases. They are the language of gqom, the gyrating spine of Lebo Mathosa and the irreverence of Sis uBrenda (Fassie). In a transcendental nutshell they are the schizophrenia of characters which sleep awake in each of us, fighting to be heard. One day a sex crazed Lorraine and the next a displaced romantic “ghetto” boy named Scarvenger, using costume and characters to include all voices of the township kaleidoscope.


(Photo credit: Kristin-Lee Moolman) 


FAKA is the anti-normal, because, and I quote “if human beings only use 4% of their brain capacity who is to say what normal is”. 


Conscious of the struggle to own the right to individuality without fear of exclusion, FAKA is dedicated to asserting human dignity in all of its fluid forms.


* About Mlilo Mpondo: “Mother Daughter Lover Writer. Retelling, rewriting, recreating stories of the children we are yet to birth.”

Video credit: Jamal Nxedlana of Bubblegumclub