Beetar, Matthew. 2020. ‘Bordering Life : South African Necropolitics and LGBTI Migrants’. in Gender, Sexuality and Identities of the Borderlands, Edited by Suzanne Clisby, 43–55. London: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9780429465055-5.

  • Category: Literature
  • Source: Academic
  • Subject: Asylum/Refugee,Gay,Homophobia
  • Place: South Africa
  • Year: 2020
  • File: 9780429465055-5
Focusing on the intersection of sexuality and national prejudices, this chapter considers the ways in which historical and contemporary politics, attitudes and structures may be contextualised to understand everyday life for LGBTI migrants from Africa who are based in South Africa. Necropolitics has been defined as the relationship between sovereignty and power over life or death, or the use of socio-political power to determine how some people may live or die. This chapter argues that contemporary necropolitics render LGBTI migrants as undesirable in a broader nationalistic project. Drawing on narratives collected at workshops in South Africa, it evidences structural and social prejudice, linking everyday life to a politics that fosters disposability. LGBTI migrants embody a ‘double threat’ to essentialised ideas of ‘exceptional’ South Africanness, with the effect that state structures render them inhabitants of a borderland between necropolitical life and death. Here, in a zone of (un)belonging, future critiques of African Queer theory may engage with the potentiality offered by an embodied resistance to those very flows that seek to define and categorise.