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Homosexuality, Witchcraft, and Power: the Politics of Ressentiment in Cameroon

  • Shelagh Roxburgh

Abstract:

In this study I hope to deconstruct dominant and popular homophobic discourses in Cameroon to offer a deeper analysis of the common association made between homosexuality, witchcraft, and cults. Through a closer engagement with rumors that suggest homosexuality, witches, and cults are working collectively and covertly to destroy Cameroonian society important issues of power, morality, and inequality emerge, providing a more complex understanding of homophobic violence. I argue that in order to address homophobic concerns in Cameroon, activists must contend with the complexity of epistemological differences and speak to the root causes of an emerging ressentiment.

Dans cette étude, j’espère déconstruire les discours homophobes dominants et populaires au Cameroun afin d’offrir une analyse plus approfondie de l’association commune faite entre l’homosexualité, la sorcellerie et les sectes. Par un engagement plus attentif aux rumeurs qui laissent entendre que l’homosexualité, la sorcellerie et les sectes travaillent collectivement et secrètement pour détruire la société camerounaise, d’importantes questions de pouvoir, de moralité et d’inégalité émergent, offrant une compréhension plus approfondie de la violence homophobe. Je soutiens donc qu’afin de répondre aux préoccupations homophobes au Cameroun, les militants doivent faire face à la complexité des différences épistémologiques et parler des causes profondes de ce ressentiment émergent.

Neste artigo, proponho-me a desconstruir os discursos homofóbicos que se popularizaram e predominam nos Camarões, bem como analisar de forma aprofundada a associação—muito comum neste país—entre homossexualidade, bruxaria e culto. Por via do escrutínio dos rumores segundo os quais a homossexualidade, a bruxaria e os cultos estão, por ação conjunta, a destruir insidiosamente a sociedade camaronense, levantam-se importantes questões de poder, de moralidade e de desigualdade, o que possibilita um entendimento mais profundo da violência homofóbica. Para enfrentarem os problemas relacionados com a homofobia nos Camarões, os ativistas têm—e é nesse sentido que vai a minha argumentação—de lidar com a complexidade das diferenças epistemológicas e enfrentar os fatores que estão na origem de um ressentimento crescente.

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African Studies Review
  • ISSN: 0002-0206
  • EISSN: 1555-2462
  • URL: /core/journals/african-studies-review
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