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SOGI’S STORY TAKES GROUND-BREAKING APPROACH TO SAME SEX RIGHTS IN AFRICA

SOGI’S STORY TAKES GROUND-BREAKING APPROACH TO SAME SEX RIGHTS IN AFRICA

Sydney October 1, 2014: Leading Australian digital communication studio The Explainers has teamed up with the Australian Human Rights Centre (AHRCentre) at the University of New South Wales to produce a ground-breaking comic book and accompanying video “Sogi’s Story” promoting LGBTI rights across Africa.

“Sogi’s Story” was created to provide inspiration and hope for Africans struggling with sexual and gender identity issues in countries where they are not only stigmatised but actively discriminated against and often are at risk of physical harm.

The video gives a broader look at the context of the situation and has been launched at a fitting time, just as Uganda has moved to reintroduce anti-homosexual legislation that would include punishment of life in prison for individuals, or those in companies, media organisations or non-government organisations that know of gay people or support LGBTI rights.

The graphic novel tells the story of the love between a same-sex couple as they pursue their relationship despite discrimination and threats of violence. “Sogi’s Story” will be distributed across African Commonwealth National Human Rights Institutions, in countries including Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Swaziland and Tanzania.

“This was a challenging, but inspirational project to work on,” Founder and Managing Director of The Explainers, Matt Taylor, said. “Sogi’s Story” is the perfect combination of our commercial communication skills and my passion for graphic novels to address a serious human rights issue.”

One of the challenges included finding an African voice-over artist who would be willing to put their name to the project, highlighting the repression of same-sex rights in many countries.

“The concern was not from the artist’s personal views, but from the repercussions they felt were possible if they were involved in the project,” Taylor said.

The project was officially launched last night at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at an event attended by the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs and the South African High Commissioner, Her Excellency Ms Koleka Mqulwana. The project is being held up as a blueprint for approaching complex social issues both on grass-roots and bureaucratic levels.

Director of the AHRCentre, Professor Andrea Durback, who led the development of the project said: “We had to work with a number of constraints, including ensuring that the product we developed did not prejudice the courageous work of human rights institutions and LGBTI NGOs and activists, and was accessible to different audiences. 

“Matt Taylor and The Explainers team were superbly and sensitively adept at translating our often dense legal and literal content into a visual tool that was beautifully crafted, appropriate to a particular political, cultural and geographic context but with universal appeal.“ 

 See the video here.

Visit the website here 

ENDS

ABOUT THE EXPLAINERS
The Explainers is Australia’s leading digital communications studio focused on explainer videos, infographics and content strategy.
The Explainers helps its clients engage, inform and persuade, and loves partnering with companies that are progressive and strategic in their thinking. The Explainers has helped solve problems creatively for brands such as BT, NAB, Telstra, the Creative Industries Innovation Centre and Ray White.

Perhaps you should watch the explainer… www.theexplainers.com

ABOUT THE AUSTRALIAN HUMAN RIGHTS CENTRE
The Australian Human Rights Centre (AHRCentre), based at the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales, is an inter-disciplinary research and teaching institute established in 1986. The AHRCentre aims to promote public awareness and academic scholarship about domestic and international human rights standards, laws and procedures through research projects, education programs and publications.

For more information, please contact:
Andrea Kerekes
Access PR
T: (02) 9292 7009
M: 0418 427 412
E: andrea@accesspr.com.au