Art enthusiast and transgender activist Katlego Kolanyane Kesupile has been selected as one of the TEDGlobal Fellows for this year’s conference to be held from August 27 to 30 in Arusha, Tanzania.
The conference, which is an annual affair, celebrates human ingenuity by exploring ideas, innovation and creativity from all around the world.
“It was incredibly exciting news to know that I have been selected to join the TEDGlobal Class of 2017,” enthused Kesupile.
She adds that the theme for this year is “Builders; Truth-Tellers; Catalysts”, and her talk will comprise mainly of her experiences in the LGBT space in the context of being a Motswana and an African.
“I will be doing something related to being a queer dramatic practitioner. This will be through the use of African storytelling mechanics to spread knowledge and setting course for future generations, by debunking the idea that older generations are stagnant in their protection of gender norms,” she says.
“Kol-Kes”, which is the popular moniker she is known as, is the founder and Creative Director of the Queer Shorts Showcase Festival in Botswana, a member of the Inside/Out Artist Collective and the Mellon Mays Fellows Professional Network.
She has previously served as curator of the Gaborone Hub of the World Economic Forum initiative- Global Shapers Community, and is a 2016/17 Chevening Scholar.
“We are the change and it is in how we treat each other that we teach those following us how to care for the world and each other. I can’t highlight enough how necessary “botho” is to the vocabulary of young people today and tomorrow; but they can only learn it if we live rather than just speak it,” she says.
The Fellows will be representing 18 countries, including for the first time in the programme, Somalia, Uruguay, Liberia and Zimbabwe.
“At TEDGlobal 2017, we’ll bring together an incredible group of speakers who can collectively help shape how this plays out. Dreamers and doers, technologists and entrepreneurs, business leaders and creatives. The ideas and connections forged then have had untold impact.
‘We want to reignite those sparks and invite anyone passionate about the future of Africa, and the future of the world to come and be part of something special,” states the TEDGlobal website.