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Decolonising Peace Education in Africa

Decolonising Education for Peace in Africa

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Transknowledge and PhotoVoice for Activism and Peacebuilding in Mozambique 

Project Introduction  

  • Location – Maputo, Mozambique 
  • Project Team –Tirso Sitoe; C Pepetsa Fumo, Raimundo Mangane, Francisco Bendzane, Célia Paulina Naife (Naife), e Lúcio Luis Ernesto (Lulu Ernesto). 
  • Open University – Craig Walker 


What social norms and processes of socialisation can curtail hypermasculinity and facilitate peacebuilding in post-war years? 


In Mozambique, a country ravaged by decades of liberation and civil war, as well as episodic insurgency in years since, this project uses the notion of hypermasculinity as a lens through which to examine everyday experiences of violence but also acceptance and belonging (as aspects of peace) of the trans-community in Mozambique. Hypermasculinity sits at the extreme and harmful end of the gender spectrum, describing men whose definition and performance of their identities manifest in aggression, domination, and violence. The soldier, and war, epitomise a culture of hypermasculinity but during civil wars, wider society (civic populations) exposure to hypermasculinity is amplified and the legacy of these masculinities on social relations can remain long after the fighting stops. 


Hypermasculinity is posited in the simple male-female binary. Recognising trans-community knowledges and voices are marginalised or repressed within wider social and political discourses, yet occupy a liminal space in gender binaries, the study aims to explore how transwomen across two sites: Maputo and Nampula, understand and experience conflict and peace both in their everyday lives but also within wider Mozambican society. PhotoVoice methodology is used for the participants to visually express how trans-knowledges, as ‘sexual subaltern’ way of knowing might inform peacebuilding and peace education. 


Project Methodology 

The project works with twenty members of the trans-community across two research sites. The first is Maputo, the capital of Mozambique which has a highly active LGBTQIA+ civil society and is, relative to other cities and regions of the country, a more cosmopolitan space for trans people to live. The second is Nampula, in the north. Again, it has a strong trans-community but is largely Muslim and is the urban centre drawing those fleeing the violent Islamist insurgency that has been waging in the Northern province of Cabo Delgado since 2017. Both sites represent quite different socio, political and cultural dynamics that see gender-based violence against transpeople manifesting in different ways.  

The research used PhotoVoice methodology. All participants across the two cities held focus group discussions, to talk through gender-based violence, the causes, experiences and effects. Conversely, conversations centred on how participants also felt a sense of acceptance and belonging in their own (trans) and wider community. Participants were then trained in the use of digital photography and tasked with taking a series of images that spoke to violence and peace. 


Project Highlights 

International Day of Trans Visibility, March 31st 2023 

TRANSFORMAR organized a digital campaign to celebrate the International Day of Trans Visibility. This day is a significant date of struggle to make the causes of the transsexual movement visible. It’s a day of struggle for all trans bodies, who are often invisible to public policies on security, health, work, and education, but so visible to the violence manifested in the heterocisnormative society. Trans-feminicides are the extreme form of violence suffered by trans people. Every day they are expelled from bathrooms and schools and their social name and pronouns are not respected. In the job market, they are stereotyped, and treated as aberrations, deviants of character, finding sex work the only way to survive. TRANSFORMAR provides its full support to the causes of the Transsexual population in Mozambique. We are together in building a world free from all types of violence and discrimination! NOTHING TO STOP US WITHOUT US.  


Trans Advocacy Week at the 53rd Session of the United States, United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)  

TRANSFORMAR participated in this event held in Geneva, Switzerland, from June 19 to July 14, 2023. This event brought trans activists from all regions of the developing world together, allowing proposing and giving interventions to the Human Rights Council. 


International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia: May 17th 2023 

TRANSFORMAR organized a celebration on the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. Created in 2004, this day draws society’s attention to the violence, discrimination and exclusions suffered by the LGBTQ population. It’s an opportunity to honour everyone who works for the rights of LGBTIQ people, sometimes putting their freedom or lives at risk. Transgender people in Mozambique have historically been and continue to be marginalized, facing issues related to stigma, discrimination, lack of legal recognition and limited access to various services. 


Social Research Training for LGBTQIA+ Activists, December 19th 2023  

TRANSFORMAR developed social research training for LGBTQIA+ activists. In the face of growing misinformation, ignorance, and homotransphobic prejudice, research practices can be important allies of LGBTIQ+ activism. Across Africa, LGBTIQ+ movements and collectives have repeatedly dedicated themselves to producing knowledge and collecting evidence about their experiences, bodies, and subjectivities. Still, most research projects on gender and sexuality in Africa, often funded by international donors and public and private institutions, are designed and implemented without the active participation of interested communities, who are often treated as mere data. This training aims to combat this situation, by offering a practical introduction to social research strategies, aiming to train LGBTIQ+ activists so that they can better respond to the growing demand for knowledge, evidence and content about their realities. The training included the following modules:  

  • Introduction to Social Research  
  • Research Ethics  
  • Quantitative Research 
  • Questionnaire Survey 
  • Qualitative Research 
  • Interviews and Focus groups  
  • Archive Research 
  • How to Build a Fil 
  • Preservation and Organization of Data  
  • How to Raise Funds and Prepare Research Projects 


Special Broadcast of the Film “Girl” 

TRANSFORMAR invited community members to participate in the special broadcast of the film “Girl”, nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film. ‘Girl’ tells the story of determined Lara, a 15-year-old Trans woman, who is committed to becoming a professional dancer. Lara’s teenage frustrations and impatience increase when she realizes that her body does not easily obey that strict discipline because she was born with male biological sex. To find out more about this groundbreaking film visit 


77th Session Of The African Commission On Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) IN Arusha, Tanzania.  

Bloco 4 Foundation and TRANSFORMAR participated in synergy initiatives for human rights. To explore this further, visit


Educational Resources 

Canaries in the Coalmine: An analysis of spaces for LGBTI activism in Mozambique 


Country report 

This overview of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) groups and allies in Mozambique, explores LGBTI and civil society organizations that work to advance the human rights of LGBTI people, their strategies and implementation. It also considers Mozambique’s legal environment, considering key laws that directly and indirectly discriminate or violate the human rights of LGBTI persons, along with laws and policies that protect LGBTI people.  

To read this report visit: content/uploads/2017/06/Canaries_Mozambique_epub_Draft2_CB2.pdf  


  • The State of LGBTI Rights and Activism in Mozambique. 
  • The second report, written by Tirso Sitoe for the Other Foundation is currently under review. 


Handbook Resource 

The research team are currently in the process of developing a handbook resource that can be used by other trans and LGBQI+ organisations and individuals to advocate and raise awareness of gender-based violence against the community and how it can be addressed. 




At the first workshop with transgender people from the project Transknowledge and PhotoVoice for Activism and Peacebuilding in Mozambique, TRANSformer trans activists represent in drawings the places where they suffer violence in Maputo, Mozambique.