Join the team “Foot For Love” by making a donation on the fundraising site Kisskissbankbank! Help us to welcome in Paris a south-African female football team, so that they can participate to an exhibition match against discriminations on 24. June. This event will be followed by a whole week of actions against discriminations, including sport, culture, activism and festive moments.
« Foot For Love » is an initiative to promote the fight against violence and discrimination targeting lesbians, particularly through sport. To do so, we invite to Paris a delegation of the Thokozani Football Club during a week punctuated by sport, cultural and activist events. The name of this club, located in a township in Durban celebrates Thokozani Qwabe, a lesbian soccer player murdered in 2007 because of her sexual orientation. Since then, many hate crimes (murders, “corrective rapes” …) have been committed against lesbians or transgenders, in South Africa.
The Thokozani Football Club (TFC) was created in response to these violences by Zanele Muholi, photographer and activist working for the rights of women and homosexuals in South Africa. On their website, they describe their aims as follows: “ As an all black lesbian-women soccer team, we at Thokozani believe that through sport and soccer, we can make a difference in the lives of other young and queer women struggling against homophobia and violence. We play for peace. We want to educate each other and our families, friends and communities that we exist, that we contribute to building a physically, socially, and emotionally healthy and democratic South African society, and that we deserve a life free of discrimination and violence due to homophobia. We have the right as athletes to play and compete in a safe and supportive environment no matter what our gender, race, class, or sexual orientation.”
The club is affiliated to the Association of South African Football Association (SAFA women’s section) and plays in a league official (ABSA League). It currently has twenty lesbians players, aged from 18 to 41 years. The province of Kwa-Zulu Natal (Durban) is generally characterized by high levels of poverty, a very high HIV prevalence (which does not spare lesbians) and very high exposure of women and homosexuals to violence.
By inviting the TFC, Les Dégommeuses have a double goal:
- To allow the Thokozani Football Club to participate for the first time in an international exhibition match against discriminations on 24. June, at the “Parc des Princes” stadium in Paris
- To benefit from the presence of the team to set up a week of action and civic debates about discriminations linked to gender, race and sexual orientation. We expect three types of contributions to raise the public awareness:
- a photo exhibition by Zanele Muholi
- the projection of the documentary “Difficult Love” directed by Zanele Muholi and Peter Goldsmid, and awarded this year in South Africa)
- and an evening debate on the status of lesbians and LGBT in general in France and in South Africa. The problem of corrective rapes among lesbians will also be discussed, since several « survivors » belong to the club.
Schedule of « Foot For Love »
June 22: Arrival in Paris
June 23: Screening of the documentary « Difficult Love », of the documentary “Difficult Love” directed by Zanele Muholi and Peter Goldstmid
June 24: Tournament b.yourself (Parc des Princes):
– Morning: workshops to raise awareness against sexism and homophobia with adolescents participating in the tournament
– Afternoon: Exhibition match: Dégommeuses and Friends VS FC Thokozani
June 25: Free – guided tour of Paris organized by the Lesbian of Color
June 26: Meeting with young people coming from the Paris metroplitan area, to discuss about sexism and homophobia in sport but also of empowerment through sport (in partnership with the Crips Ile-de-France)
June 27: Conference at the bookstore Violette and Co, based on the work of Zanele Muholi
June 28: Opening of the exhibition by Zanele Muholi, Espace Canopy, Paris
June 29: Lesbian – RAL (Thokozani FC expected to be the head of the procession)
June 30: Pride LGBT / Departure from Paris
Who are we?
The project « Foor For Love » was initiated by Les Dégommeuses, a group of friends enjoying football. They first assembled a team of soccer and then an organization working for the promotion of women in sports and the fight against discriminations in sports.
Operation « Foot For Love » is organized in partnership with the Lesbian of Color, Paris Foot Gay, Yagg.com, Rosa Bonheur and a whole chain of support lesbians and feminists
« Foot For Love » is also supported by the city of Paris, the Crips-IDF and the French Movement for Family Planning, which will host the delegation for a week.
« Foot For Love » is up, sponsored by various personalities including Sarah Bettens, Océanerosemarie « the invisible lesbian, » Edith Fambuena, Deborah Dégouts and… the 1998 world champion Lilian Thuram.
For more information, join us on FB!