Journeys of Faith Exhibition Collection of GALA (South Africa)

Span Dates: 2015-2016
Bulk Dates:
Volume: 2 boxes; digital files


The collection consists of material collected for the exhibition ‘Journeys of Faith’ by GALA in 2015, notably a series of oral history interviews conducted with people about faith and sexual orientation. The exhibition was curated by GALA staff members Khosi Xaba and Linda Chernis, in partnership with the Apartheid Museum. The exhibition opened at the Apartheid Museum (Round Room) on 27 February 2016 and ran until the end of October 2016. The collection is comprised of new material gathered for the exhibition, however the exhibition also made use of material from the following existing GALA collections: Sally Gross (GAL 0121); HUMCC (AM 2733). The collection also consists of organisational and administrative material from the exhibition planning, research and design phases, as well as press releases, opening event information and educational materials. Inventory available. Exhibition banners are available for download on the GALA website. File 1 (double panel interviews) • Nokuthula Dhladhla – interviewed by Anthony Manion – 17 March 2015, at GALA, Braamfontein (for HUMCC panel). Note there were also earlier interviews done by GALA with Dhladhla – see 4.2.1 – b. • David Bilchitz – interviewed by Linda Chernis – 23 March 2015, at Beit Emanuel Progressive Synagogue, Oxford Rd. For Progressive Judaism panel. • Lael Bethlehem – written answers to interview questionnaire – 13 March 2015 (via email). For Progressive Judaism panel. • Tino (EMBARGOED) – interviewed by Khosi Xaba, 10 March 2015, at GALA, Braamfontein. For Holy Trinity panel. • Russell Pollitt – interviewed by Khosi Xaba, 14 April 2015, at Jesuit Institute of SA, Auckland Park. For Holy Trinity panel. • Father Bruce - interviewed by Khosi Xaba, 2 April 2015. For Holy Trinity panel. (interview not ultimately used in exhibition). • Pastor Zungu & Magesh – interviewed by Khosi Xaba, 16 March 2015, KZN. File 2: single panel interviews • Navan Govender – interviewed by Linda Chernis, 18 March 2015 at his office at the Wits Education Campus. For the Hindu/Atheist perspective. • Rev. Tebogo Klaas – Interviewed by Anthony Manion and Khosi Xaba, 29 January 2015 at his office in Braamfontein. Although this interview was not directly used in the exhibition, Klaas gave us several leads on people to interview (including Thabisile Msezane) as well as a good general perspective. GALA also worked with Klaas on the Interfaith Dialogue – see 3 • Thabisile Msezane – interviewed by Khosi Xaba, 14 February 2015, at her home No. 215 Van Ryhn Road, in Cloverdean • Mshengu Tshabalala – interviewed by Khosi Xaba, 6 May 2015, at his home in Johannesburg. • Katrin auf der Heyde – interviewed by Khosi Xaba, 15 March 2015, at her home in the Underberg, KZN. Katrin gave both written and oral answers to interview questions. • Zean Nkunzi Nkabinde - interviewed (video) by Khosi Xaba, 25 February 2015, at Constitution Hill. • Ecclesia de Lange – interviewed by Khosi Xaba, 24 March 2015, at the IAM offices in Cape Town. • Rowan Smith – interviewed by Khosi Xaba, 23 March 2015, at his home in Cape Town. Not interviewed by GALA in 2015 *Please note that GALA was not able to re-interview Nazmah for Journeys of Faith. Her panel is therefore based on the interview GALA did with her for the Trans book. The same photograph was also used, with permission from photographer Robert Hamblin. Furthermore, Muhsin Hendricks was not interviewed by GALA, although GALA was in touch with Hendricks and The Inner Circle provided display items and photographs, Jean Brundritt also took Hendrick’s portrait photograph for GALA. GALA used numerous previous interviews that Hendricks had done as well as extensive information and quotes from TIC website. Lastly, as Sally Gross passed away in 2014, she was not interviewed by GALA for the exhibition. Again, GALA used numerous previous/existing interviews. 2. Planning and drafts 2.1. Meetings, notes and early exhibition concept and design notes (1 file) 2.2. Early drafts & summaries (1 file) Longer versions of the text that was ultimately used in the panels, as well as a wider selection of quotes from the interviews. 2.3 Exhibition finances (1 file) 2.4 Temporary Exhibition Proposal – document sent to museums/galleries while look for a venue to travel J0F to after its run at the Apartheid Museum. (1 file) 3. Interfaith Dialogue (1 file) The inter-faith dialogue took place on 20 March 2015 in Braamfontein. The dialogue was not directly linked to the exhibition, but was part of what was to be an ongoing set of dialogues around religion and sexuality and gender identity. 3.1 Attendance register 3.2 hand-written notes from the event 3.3 Typed up notes 4. Research Material Research material collected for the exhibition 4.1 Single panels 4.1.1 Navan Govender (1 file) • ‘Negotiating the Gendered Representations of Sexualities through Critical Literacy’ – workbook - Navan Govender, 2013. • Academic CV printed from Wits website. • Poster: ‘People change spaces’ - Negotiating the Gendered Representations of Sexualities through Critical Literacy’ – Navan Govender. 21 August 2015 – Safe Zones lecture series – Wits Transformation office. *Note – there is a non-folded copy of this poster in the poster cabinet with the other Wits posters. • 2 x articles about LGBTI and Hinduism – these were used as background reading but did not ultimately form part of Navan’s story. 4.1.2 Thabisile Msezane (1 file) • Web article mentioning Thabisile and the Womens Group: ‘An emotional farewell for the recent victim of hate crime’ – 28 September, 2014 – Inkanyiso.org. • Some information and photos printed from the Sithabile Childcare website (the centre started and run by Thabisile). 4.1.3 Nazmah (1 file) • ‘Nazmah’s story’ – Trans book pages 199-203 • ‘The story of Nazmah’ – edited by Charl Marais. 24/03/2009 4.1.4 Sally Gross (1 file) • ‘Life in the shadow of gender’ – Sally Gross, The Witness, 29 August 2009 • Three part series of articles on Sally Gross by Stephen Coan written for the Natal Witness, 25 February 2000. • Updated feature article (2009) by Sally Gross (update on the 2000 Witness articles) • Obituary – written by Stephen Coan • Conference paper (Manchester) by Sally Gross – ‘Not in God’s Image’ • ‘De-gendering unions: The Civil Union Act and the Intersexed’ – by Sally Gross, To Have and to Hold. See also the Sally Gross collection – GAL0121. 4.1.5 Mshengu Tshabalala (1 file) • Web content from the Believers in Christ website – 2 pages. 4.1.6 Katrin auf der Heyde (1 file) • ‘Rejoicing in merit’ – Interview with Wayne Sampson and Vajiradhara, To Have and To Hold. (research material into Buddhism, not ultimately used in exhibition). 4.1.7 Zean Nkunzi Nkabinde (1 file) • ‘I've got two men and one woman': ancestors, sexuality and identity among same-sex identified women traditional healers in South Africa’ – Ruth Morgan and Graeme Reid. 2003. • The following GALA books were also used: Tommy Boys, Lesbian Men and Ancestral Wives - Morgan and Wieringa. Black Bull, Ancestors and Me – Nkunzi Zandile Nkabinde *(note: deceased – 24 May 2018) 4.1.8 Rowan Smith/Anglican (1 file) • ‘African cleric breaks ranks on gay issue’ – Mail & Guardian - 22/09/2006 • ‘Flock gaily sings happy birthday to priest’ – IOL – 10 August 2003 • ‘Apologies to congregation – Furore over Dean’s devil tail’ – Cape Times newspaper clipping from 2000 (re. Smith and the OIA film festival advert) • A glass trophy awarded to Rowan Smith by the 2010 Cape Town Pride Committee - given to Khosi Xaba (as a donation to GALA) upon her visit to Cape Town 23/24 March 2015. Inscribed on glass: ‘2010 Cape Town Pride. Lifetime Achievement Award for Services to the LGBT Community of Cape Town’.* stored in office with other trophies and awards. Damaged. *(Note: deceased: May 2018) 4.1.9 Ecclesia de Lange/Methodist (1 archive box) (Most items were donated by De Lange, including: t-shirts, IAM pamphlets and DVDs, her Bible, crucifix, badges/pins, candle holder. Not all items were used in the exhibition). a) Media/Press Web article printouts • ‘Methodist in the madness’ – Thought leader – Melanie Judge – 22/05/2013 • ‘Lesbian minister arbitration stalls’ – Mambagirl online – 6 February 2011 • ‘Gay reverend’s appeal dismissed’ – Eye Witness News (EWN) – 01/10/2014 Copy of newspaper • ‘Lesbian pastor vs church’ – Cape Times – 22 May 2013 (copy used in display) ConCourt ruling (web articles) • ‘Constitutional court sends sacked gay minister packing’ – Times Live – 24/11/2015 • ‘I am deeply disappointed’ – News24 – 24/11/2015 • ‘Con court blocks lesbian minister’ – The Citizen – 24/11/2015 • ‘The Methodist Church is confused and irrational’ – Daily Maverick – Pierre de Vos – 24/11/2015 b) Other documents • ‘My story’ – typed account Ecclesia gave to her congregations in December 2009 advising of her upcoming marriage. • ‘There comes a time’ – speech given by Bishop Peter Storey at the Service of Solidarity to mark Ecclesia’s trial, 8 February 2010 • IAM public statement re. Dutch Reformed Church • Correspondence (email) between Ecclesia and Khosi Xaba re. Ecclesia’s upcoming Concourt appearance and GALA support • Constitutional Court of South Africa – Media summary of Ecclesia’s case. 28 August 2015 • Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa – Media summary of judgement in Ecclesia’s case. 29 September 2014. • Website article written by Linda Chernis for the GALA website about Ecclesia’s Concourt case. • Inclusive and Affirming Ministries (IAM) pamphlets x 2 • ‘The Bible and Homosexuality: What is the Spirit saying to the Churches?’ – by Bishop David Russell (printed by IAM). c). Non-paper items/personal items • 2 x T-shirts – campaign support for Ecclesia: “Ecclesia: An Injustice for one is an Injustice for All”. (stored separately, with t-shirts). (one t-shirt used in display) - Bible – gift from her Boksburg congregation (Boksburg North Methodist Church) (used in display) - Wooden crucifix (used in display) - 4 pins/badges – again part of the support campaign for Ecclesia during legal battles: 2 x “All Means All” pins, 2 x “Ekklesia” pins. - ‘There comes a time…’ – DVD (used in display) - IAM dvd - Angel candleholder – given by a friend as a token of support during Ecclesia’s legal battle with the Methodist church. Inscribed: May the Lord Bless You. - Printed photo of Ecclesia (used in display) 4.2 Double Panels 4.2.1 Hope & Unity Metropolitan Church (HUMCC) (3 files) Much of what was collected were copies from earlier interviews, books and collections. a. Articles/chapters (1 file) • ‘After crying to Jesus we started this church’ – Chapter 1 – Above the Skyline, Graeme Reid. • ‘Coming home: visions of healing in a Gauteng church’ – Chapter 14 – Graeme Reid, Aliens in the House of God, eds. Germond & De Gruchy. • Extract from ‘Homosexual Christian Communities in Gauteng’ (p.82-86) - Chapter 13 – Deane Stuart, Aliens in the House of God, eds. Germond & De Gruchy. • ‘A bright future for lesbian and gay Christians’ – interview with the Rev. Nokuthula Dhladhla - To Have and to Hold (p.232-234) • ‘Gay church leaders also have sex rights’ – City Press (online), 21 September 2003 (Dhladhla interviewed). • Chapter 6 – Tommy Boys, Lesbian Men and Ancestral Wives – Ruth Morgan and Saskia Wieringa (Dhladhla interviewed). b. Interviews (1 file) • Interview with Janine Preesman – 07/10/2007 • Interview with Rev. Nokuthula Dhladhla – for To Have and to Hold. • Interview with Paul (Mokgethi) – Making positive footprints • Interview with Paul Mokgethi – 12 December 2007- Tracks exhibition c. Other (1 file) • Email exchange between Linda Chernis (curator) and Paul Mokgethi-Heath (24 March 2015), as well as Paul’s CV which was attached. Pal outlines the last years of the HUMCC and its decline. See also: HUMCC Collection – AM2733. Display items were taken from this collection and returned after exhibition: • Drum Magazine – article on HUMCC • Graeme Reid’s HUMCC membership card • 2 x photos of HUMCC pageants (copies made for display) • HUMCC flyers 4.2.2 The Inner Circle (TIC) (1 archive box) Most of this material was generously donated to GALA by TIC. Note: not all material was ultimately used for the exhibition. a. Articles & interviews • Reading material – bound file of articles produced by TIC – 2004 • Queer Jihad (1) – A view from South Africa – Scott Kugle • ‘Islam does give us leeway to think’ – interview with Muhsin Hendricks – Qantara.de – 15.10.2014. • Muslims launch The Inner Circle (written by TIC) • Interview by Brian Whitaker with Muhsin Hendricks – Cape of Good Hope (2007) • ‘South Africa’s Gay Imam and His Disciples’ – Alexis Okeowo b. Organisational material (TIC) • Flyers: Are you gay and Muslim? The Inner Circle can help you! (used in display) • Factsheet – November 2014: Islam and Sexual Diversity (used in display) • TIC information brochure (used in display) • Planning ahead (2012-2018) – brochure • About TIC – from website. • 2 x books published by TIC used in display: Hijab: Unveiling Queer Muslim Lives and The Gender based lie • Glass trophy – awarded by the TIC for initiative and personal sacrifice 2014 (* stored in office with other trophies and awards) • DVD – TIC Production: Fitrah: Negotiating Islam, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. c. Other • Muslim Judicial Council SA – submission opposing Civil Union Bill – 2006 • ‘The guts to get married – interview with Saida and Zukayna Kruger’ – To have and to Hold • ‘ Simone’s Story’ – Trans (book). • The Qur’an – Penguin Classic (book – used in display) • Printed photograph of Muhsin Hendricks (used in display) • String of religious beads (used in display) • Prayer mat/tapestry (used in display) 4.2.3 Progressive Judaism (2 files) Note: Some of this material was not used in the exhibition and not all of it relates to Progressive Judaism (some to greater Judaism). a. Articles & interviews (1 file) • ‘A living tradition – interview with Margaret Auerbach and Liebe Kellen’ – To Have & To Hold. • Interview with Emilia Potenza and Lael Bethlehem – interviewed by Anthony Manion, 16 November 2007 • ‘Integrating Sexuality, Ethics and Spirituality’” A Jewish perspective’ - David Bilchitz (talk given in Grahamstown, 2009) • ‘Breaking Bread in Hillbrow’ – Mail & Guardian (online) – 1 April 2010, Mathew Krouse (re. Temple Israel) • Interview with Madeleine Rose-Hicklin – GALA faith oral history project 6 July 2006 (*note – seems this OHP never took off beyond this interview) • Notes written by interviewer (Linda Chernis) on questionnaire while interviewing David Bilchitz – 23 March 2015 (see 1.3) • ‘Nice Jewish Boys Don’t Become Homosexuals’ – SA Jewish Times, 1986 b. Organisational material from Beit Emanuel & Progressive Judaism (1 file) • Rabbi Sa’ar Shaked’s High Holy Day sermon • Visitor’s comment card • Mitzvah card • Beit Emanuel Bulletin – March 2015 and October 2015 (includes Pride Shabbat service) • Pride Shabbat order of service October 2015 • Beit Emanuel Activity Program – March/April 2015 • Magazine: Jubilee Edition – 60 Years of Beit Emanuel (Bilchitz on page 62) • Pamphlets: ⋅ South African Foundation for Progressive Judaism ⋅ What is Progressive Judaism? ⋅ Beit Emanuel Progressive Synagogue ⋅ South African Centre for Religious Equality and Diversity (SACRED) ⋅ The World Union for Progressive Judaism • Email from Rabbi Sa’ar Shaked inviting GALA to Beit Emanuel’s Pride Shabbat. • Pried Shabbat flyer (photocopy) – Beit Emanuel 2014 4.2.4 Holy Trinity Catholic Church (1 file) a) Articles • ‘The gay-friendly Catholic Church’ – Wits Vuvuzela (online) – 30 May 2013 • ‘Holy Trinity – this church welcomes homosexuals’ – Mail & Guardian (online) – 19 April 2013 • ‘Bishop speaks out on gay marriages’ – Equality, July/September 1998 (not about Holy Trinity and not used for exhibition) • ‘Is it time for a pastoral response to homosexuality in South Africa?’ – by Russell Pollitt, 9 May 2011 – The Southern Cross. b) other • Information regarding the Holy Trinity LGBTI support group – sent from Dumisani Dube to Ricus Dullaert 12/08/2014 (Dullaert was the croup’s treasurer at the time, while Dube the group’s leader) • Information on the LGBTI support group printed from the Holy Trinity website (2015) • Email and photos re. 2012 Pride (JHB) – Holy Trinity group attending pride and prayer service held before the march. 4.2.5 Victory Ministries/Pastor Zungu (1 file) • Printouts of (Victory Ministries Church International) VMCI web content (as of February 2016): About Us; Gallery; Ministries; Contact Us; Giving. www.vmci.org.za • Two articles from Inkanyiso about VMCI – 4 February 2014: ‘Newly ordained pastors at VMCI Church’; 6 January 2013: ‘ Victory Ministries Church International (VMCI) • Article about Magesh’s death in December 2015 5. Photography 5.1 Photocopies and print outs of photos; some test prints from Jean Brundrit of Ecclesia, Muhsin and Rowan; 7 x colour photos of VMCI donated by Pastor Zungu (1 folder) 5.2 DVD of photos Includes all photographs taken for the exhibition, archival photos used as well as photos that were considered and not used in the final panels. 5.3 Photo release forms. Confidential. ( 1 file) 5.4 Documents relating to photo shoots and finances (1 file) 6. Final panels & Display items 6.1 Final panels & text (1 file) 6.2 Display items (1 file) - see also 10.1 Includes labels (though Sally Gross labels were used for the ‘Out the Box’ exhibition in 2017. 7. Opening/launch (1 file) Copy of electronic invitation, order of events, invoices for transport. Approximately 100 people attended the launch and Edwin Cameron was the keynote speaker. 8. Press coverage & reception 8.1 Press coverage (1 file) Print outs of articles (mostly web) covering the exhibition – all seemed to stick to the information and quotes given in the press pack prepared by GALA. Press pack is also included in the file 8.2 Visitor’s books - Visitor’s books (x 2) from the Apartheid Museum. Comments mostly favourable. Note: the book was damaged by water while in the exhibition space. Also, it appears from some of the comments in the book that some people thought this was the book for the whole museum, not specifically for Journeys of Faith. 10 Other Exhibition file – Khosi Xaba 1 x lever arch file from co-curator Khosi Xaba – duplicates of material found elsewhere in the collection.

Hist/Bio Note

The Gay and Lesbian Archives of South Africa (GALA) in 2015 and 2016 put on an online exhibition on LGBTQ movements about various LGBTQ faith traditions in South Africa.

Finding Aid

A finding aid is available upon request to linda.chernis@wits.ac.za.


The Gay and Lesbian Archives is located in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa


Africa | Catholic (Roman) | MCC | Islam (Progressive) | Jewish (ethnic, Reform, Reconstructionist, Orthodox) | Methodist (UMC, United Methodist Church) | South Africa | Church of England (Anglican)