Cruising queer, old Joburg

DOI: 10.1080/23323256.2019.1583064
Author(s): Jonathan CaneWits City Institute, South Africa


The article presents a queer reflection on the method of Walter Benjamin in Johannesburg, South Africa. Using a critical method of ephemera collection and collage, it offers a layered and provocative map of the city before the end of apartheid and at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. The notion of “cruising,” an anachronistic theoretical mode, is applied to one iconic club, the Dungeon. Through archival research, oral histories with elder gay and lesbian Johannesburg residents, and personal reflection and cruising anecdotes, the article reflects on the process of queer archival work.

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