Mapping Political Homophobia in Senegal

by Boris Bertolt and Léa E.J.S. Massé

Abstract

This contribution examines the instrumentalization of homophobia in Senegal by developing on the concept of political homophobia. Since 2008, non-heterosexuality in Senegal has been the subject of frequent attacks in mass-media, political discourses and religious speeches. An analysis of political and public rhetoric reveals that political homophobia is a modular phenomenon inscribed in broader power dynamics between Senegalese society and the West, religious authorities and political leaders, and between political leaders and their opponents. The instrumentalization of political homophobia by political leaders and religious authorities emerges as a strategy to strengthen their position in a context of crisis.

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Boris Bertolt is a PhD researcher in Cultural and Global Criminology at Kent University in United Kingdom. Hisacademic interests include gender, violence, crises and conflicts in Africa. His latest publications are focused on coloniality of gender in Africa.

Léa E.J.S. Massé is a PhD candidate in Criminology at Rotterdam University in The Netherlands. Her academic interests include state crimes, political violence, conflicts, and existentialist criminology. She currently works on lived experiences of (dis)engagement in extremism in Western countries.