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"From the Margins You Push So That the Center Implodes": Queer Media in South Africa


This article offers a cross-sectional analysis of queer media production, exhibition, and reception in South Africa, homing in on lesbian media production through interviews with Makgano Mamabolo, cowriter and coproducer of Society, a hit series on mainstream South African television (2007, 2009-2010), and Zethu Matebeni, cowriter, codirector, and coproducer of Breaking Out of the Box (2011), a documentary that has screened on the film festival, academic, and activist circuits. Shifting focus away from the predominantly European-American context of most media scholarship, the article explores forces that shape queer media production in the country, including South Africa's particular media landscape, tensions between and within local, continental, and international queer politics, and generational differences between those who grew up in the struggle against apartheid and those coming of age today.

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