Thought Archives - Bubblegum Club

Instagram & Identity: the Queer Online Experience

Being queer in South Africa is complicated. Despite having one of the most progressive constitutions in the world, South African society remains rife with homophobia – and in a country where ‘corrective rape’ is common, the consequences are often physical. Overt expressions of queerness are unsafe in public, but also often in private too; pervasive…

Contemplating Joburg’s Other Queer Genealogies

Genealogies of a particular Black queer existence and expression are etched into the very skin, the very memory, the very breath of Joburg as a city. From the years of its creation as a metropolis built on gold and Black migrant labour; tributaries of queer existence have flowed out onto Johannesburg streets in abundance.This fact…

The New Black Barbies

The Natural Nancy Doll was supposed to help soothe some of the tension that lay lingering after the riots had quieted down. After the Watts Rebellion of 1965, the city of Los Angeles was in critical need of a social rebrand. Decades of racialised inequality and a matchstick incident of police brutality against Marquette Fry…

What Twitter Reveals About Fragile Masculinity in JHB

Johannesburg has always been a city obsessed with money and power. In 1886 when hundreds of men (and their families) flocked to the Witwatersrand in search of gold, they were also searching for the power and status that the mineral would provide. The discovery of mineral wealth in the Witwatersrand lit the match for the…

Muffled echoes from The Wake; requiem for MaMpho

Abstract The piece that is to follow is a Song of Mo(u)rning from a place of love for my grandmother. However, it is made complicated by its location inside the House of History. With it I fabricate a ceremony of re/membrance and healing. With it I enter into the History House packed to the ceiling…

On Petite Noir, Beyoncé and What Artists Owe Each Other

In Jamaican reggae and dancehall culture, there is a thing called a riddim. An artist will release a track, and if the track becomes popular, multiple other artists will use their own lyrics on top of the already existing beat. Major 2000s dancehall hits like “No Letting Go” by Wayne Wonder, Sean Paul’s “Get Busy”,…

On Touki Bouki and What it Means to Dream

In the 1920s, Josephine Baker left Jim Crow America for Europe. She had spent her youth between the streets and stages of St Louis, with no stable place to live while performing as a backup dancer for show troupes. Dreaming of stardom and tired of being too black to enter her own shows through the…