African Literature Association Resolutions
At the 2014 ALA Meetings in Johannesburg, the following resolutions were passed by the membership:
On Gay and Lesbian rights
The ALA supports the rights of Gay and Lesbian people and deplores the passage of legislation in any country that would punish people for their sexual orientation. If this resolution is passed, the president of the ALA will write letters to the appropriate authorities in those states responsible for such legislation.
BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions)
The ALA supports the Academic Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions.
Whereas the African Literature Association is committed to the pursuit of social justice, to the struggle against all forms of racism, including anti-semitism, discrimination, and xenophobia, and to solidarity with aggrieved peoples in Africa and in the world; Whereas Israel's occupation of Palestine and the expansion of illegal settlements and the Wall in violation of international law, as well as in supporting the systematic discrimination against Palestinians, has had documented devastating impact on the overall well-being, the exercise of political and human rights, the freedom of movement, and the educational opportunities of Palestinians; Whereas there is no effective or substantive academic freedom for Palestinian students and scholars under conditions of Israeli occupation, and Israeli institutions of higher learning are a party to Israeli state policies that violate human rights and negatively impact the working conditions of Palestinian scholars and students; Whereas the African Literature Association is dedicated to the right of students and scholars to pursue education and research without undue state interference, repression, and military violence, and in keeping with the spirit of its previous statements supports the right of students and scholars to intellectual freedom and to political dissent as citizens and scholars; it is resolved that the African Literature Association (ALA) endorses and will honor the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. It is also resolved that the ALA supports the protected rights of students and scholars everywhere to engage in research and public speaking about Israel-Palestine and in support of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement.
Rationale: The resolution is offered in the spirit of the past boycott of Apartheid South Africa, one of the ALA's earliest efforts at political coalition politics. This boycott has been endorsed by Bishop Desmond Tutu. ln the spirit of his endorsement, and of our commitment to the liberation of dominated people everywhere, we are resolving to act against a state that has taken actions that have resulted in the dispersal of millions of Palestinian people around the Middle East and North Africa (including Egypt and Tunisia), that has targeted African refugees by placing them in internment camps indefinitely, and that has collaborated with authoritarian regimes in Africa, either by their work in extractive industries, or in the shipment of arms to repressive regimes. The resolution, like the long boycott of South Africa and of Southern Rhodesia, is intended to awaken the world's conscience to a situation that must change.
The African Literature Association commends the people of Mali, particularly in Timbuktu, for protecting an important literary and cultural heritage, which UNESCO recognized as a World heritage site in 1988.
In 2012, Anthonia Kalu and the ALA wrote Sweden's Minister of Culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, this letter objecting to the lack of historical perspective and sensitivity to women shown in relation to Makode Linde's controversial art installation. The Deputy State Secretary replied.
In 2011, Lokangaka Losambe and the ALA, wrote Barack Obama this letter, urging his administration to work with African leaders in addressing human rights violations. This is Obama's reply.