Serena Dankwa: ‘Doing Supi’ Female Friendships and Intimacies in Postcolonial Ghana

PhD-Project, University of Basel

Non-standardised forms of female ‘romantic friendships‘ beyond sexual identity claims versus Globally circulating models of lesbian desire, lifestyles, sexual rights and politics.

Focus

• Representations of (and silences over) ‘supi’ practices and how they crosscut or resist ‘global gay’ identity politics.
• Subjectivity and processes of identification through homosocial spaces.
• Intersections of ‘metropolitain’ colonial and Ghanaian postcolonial forms of sexuality and homophobia.

Aim

• Create spaces for the social and historical understandings of same-sex love and desire beyond categories of sexuality.
• Unravel discoursive/conceptual boundaries between intimacy and (constructions of) sexuality.
• Explore interruptions of normative gender arrangements and ideas of femininity in Ghana.

Sources/Methods

• Life stories of women of three age groups involved in intimate friendships in Koforidua and Accra.
• Analysis of cultural texts: religious pamphlets, dating websites, ‘supi’ movies, newspapers.
• Indepth interviews with selfascribed urban queer activists, including group discussions.
• Oral history of female same-sex bonding networks.